Protecting Pollinators, People & the Planet
The significant decline of honey bee and other pollinator populations threatens food security, biodiversity and ecosystems, with bleak consequences for the human race and the planet.
The World Bee Project goal is to deliver state of the art knowledge directly to the hundreds of millions of smallholder farmers around the world to enhance the contribution of pollinators to food security, livelihoods and national economies.
The World Bee Project CIC is the first private organisation to launch a global honey bee monitoring initiative in order to efficiently and reliably generate new insights into the links between honey bee health, hive conditions, varying environments and the pollination services bees provide to agriculture.
Given the importance of pollination to sustain current levels of food produce demand, The World Bee Project Hive Network contributes to mitigating food supply shortages, threats to smallholder farmer livelihoods and national economies, and the effects of climate change.
We partner with the University of Reading, Oracle Cloud, and with a network of significant partners in the United Kingdom, India and Hungary, and welcome new strategic collaborations and partnerships.
POLLINATORS ARE ECONOMICALLY, SOCIALLY AND CULTURALLY IMPORTANT
The volume of production of pollinator dependent crops has increased by 300% over the last five decades, making livelihoods increasingly dependent on the provision of pollination.
Pollination is the highest agricultural contributor to yields worldwide, contributing far beyond any other agricultural management practice. In 2016, the Thematic Assessment of Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production, the first ever issued by IPBES, estimated that:
Bees and pollinators are critical to the future of the world’s 7.6 billion people and to the future of the planet.
87% of the world’s flowering plant species depend on pollination.
1.4 billion LIVELIHOODS globally rely on pollinators.
77% of the world food supply depends on pollinators.
US$ 235 billion - US$ 577 billion worth of annual global food production relies on pollinators.
The significant decline of honey bee and other pollinator populations is the consequence of poorly managed human activity: intensive agriculture, destruction and fragmentation of flowering natural habitats, widespread use of pesticides, pollution caused by waste, the decline of practices based on indigenous and local knowledge, climate change, and the ever-increasing global population.
Bees are a keystone species and pollination is a keystone process in all ecosystems.
Without bees, many plants - including food crops - would die off.
The vast majority of flowering plant species can only produce seeds if bees and other pollinators move pollen from the anthers to the stigmas of their flowers. And it’s not just that, cross-pollination helps at least 30 percent of the world's crops and 90 percent of our wild plants to thrive. Without pollination many interconnected species and processes functioning within an ecosystem would collapse.
Bee health is directly linked to our own health.
Pollinated crops include those that provide fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts and oils and many of these crops are important dietary sources of vitamins and minerals, without which the risks of malnutrition might be expected to increase.
Pollinators also contribute to crops that provide biofuels, fibres, medicines, forage for livestock, and construction materials. Some species also provide materials such as beeswax for candles and musical instruments, as well as arts and crafts.
Pollinators, especially bees, have also played a role throughout human history as inspirations for art, music, religion and technology. Additionally, bees improve quality of life, globally significant heritage sites and practices, symbols of identify, aesthetically significant landscapes. Sacred passages about bees occur in all major world religions.
The World Bee Project is a member of the UK Government’s Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) Pollinator Advisory Steering Group (PASG).
The World Bee Project supports the emerging holistic paradigm where society and the environment are seen as an indivisible whole, and societies and individuals define wellbeing and prosperity.
The World Bee Project is a UK Community Interest Company (CIC), designed for social enterprises that want to use their profits and assets for the public good. It is the UK equivalent of a US Benefit Corporation, known as B. Corp.