Protecting Pollinators, People & the Planet

 

The significant decline of honey bee and other pollinator populations threatens biodiversity and ecosystems, food security, and livelihoods and national economies, with bleak consequences for the human race and the planet.

The World Bee Project CIC   has created a unique opportunity that paves the way for innovations that can change the way the world grows food and manages land. It has a partnered with Oracle to leverage cloud technologies to better understand the decline in bee populations globally, and devise innovative strategies to help farmers manage bee and pollinator habitats

The mission of the World Bee Project CIC is to increase food security and livelihoods by combining AI and sensor systems with world-leading bee research to provide farmers and the general public with the knowledge and solutions they need to foster healthy habitats for pollinators.

The World Bee Project CIC is the first private organisation to launch a global honey bee monitoring initiative 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 partners with the University of Reading, Oracle Cloud, and with a network of significant partners in the United Kingdom, India and Hungary, and welcomes new strategic collaborations and partnerships.

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.

Long-term international or national monitoring of both pollinators and pollination is urgently required to provide information on status and trends for most species and most parts of the world.”
— The 2016 assessment report on Pollinators, Pollination, and Food Production, Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), United Nations
The World Bee Project has created a unique opportunity that paves the way for innovations that can change the way the world grows food and manages land.
— Sabiha Malik, Founder and Executive President, The World Bee Project CIC
Technology is changing the game for conservation efforts. Using cloud-based technology, The World Bee Project is going to have a truly global, real-time view of the population help for the first time. This will arm researches with the information needed to work with the governments and beekeepers to help reduce the decline in honey bee populations.
— John Abel, Vice President, Cloud and Innovation for UK, Ireland and Israel at Oracle
There are several studies indicating that a wide range of factors have caused the loss of honeybees, but we still do not know which are the most important and how widespread their effects are. Once we understand this then we can develop the appropriate mitigation activities to stop the declines and better protect our honeybees. There are social and political implications too, pollinators such as honeybees are intimately linked to all our livelihoods and wellbeing, so the health of our pollinators has wide-reaching implications for our health and our economy.
— Simon Potts Ph.D. co-chair of the 2016 Thematic Assessment of Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production, and Professor of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, United Kingdom.
We are also exploring a number of innovative solutions using emerging technologies … to certify and promote sustainable products and farming practices that promote healthy pollinator habitats. Our goal is to start making it financially attractive to farmers to adopt sustainable practices, and also to satisfy consumers who are concerned with the decline of bee populations and care about the provenance of the honey and other pollinated produce they buy.
— Andy Clark
The World Bee Project has global ambitions but laudably addresses problems and potentials at the local level. As a sustainable beekeeping practice based in London, running both urban and rural apiaries, we are delighted to be working with and contributing our data and expertise to the greater cause that is The World Bee Project.
— Dale Gibson, Founder, Bermondsey Street Bees
 
 

The U.N. backed I.P.B.E.S. is supported by a hundred and thirty-two member nations, including the United States. Scientists and experts from member countries contribute to its reports. 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.

  • UP TO U.S.$600 billion WORTH OF ANNUAL AGRICULTURAL IS AT RISK AS A RESULT OF POLLINATOR LOSS.

  • TOTAL POLLINATOR LOSS WOULD DECREASE PRODUCTION OF THE MOST IMPORTANT DEPENDENT CROPS “BY MORE THAN 90 PER CENT.”

 

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).

 
 
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Pollinators Under Threat, IPBES Report 2016

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.