BroodMinder contribution to saving the bees
According to the United Nations Environment Programme, of the 100 crop varieties that provide 90% of the world's food, 70 are pollinated by bees.
Concern about the bees’ threat was raised first in the mid-80s with the arrival to western countries of the Varroa mite. Since then, bees’ and beekeepers’ lives have been completely shifted forever. Twenty years later, around 2006, a second threat, Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD made its appearance with thousands of hives dying from a cocktail of factors. To make it even worse, 10 years later, around 2016 we started noticing the third element of this explosive cocktail: Global warming is nowadays having an increasing impact on bees’ health, too.
Major threats to bees stack over time
Although our level of understanding of each threat may be growing over time, there is no doubt about the diagnosis: bees are dying more than ever before, even if beekeepers are procuring them much more attention and care.
With bees in mind, let’s now think widely: we know this history about bees because they are managed livestock. Mankind has an eye on them. Now, we could legitimately ask this question: what is the case for other wild pollinators? What’s their history, and what are they enduring?
The #Savethebees movement goes beyond honeybees. It’s about realizing that something goes wrong and that bees are just the spearhead pointing to a whole that is turning wrong.
Beecounted.org as a social contribution
To contribute to the global social movement to protect pollinators, we've created the Beecounted.org platform. It was born from the idea that collecting beehive data could provide support to this endeavour. Beecounted.org database is consolidating the inputs from beekeepers around the world willing to share their data with scientists and the global beekeeping community. The analysis performed on this data by scientists and beekeepers can help to improve beekeeping outcomes and find new solutions to protect pollinators.
Since its launch in 2017, thousands of beekeepers have contributed their hive data to the database. Scientists keep using it to understand multiple aspects of colony behaviour. And a few models for colony fitness or available resources have been built over that data.
Leveraging open data from beekeepers
An example of how data can be leveraged to better understand colony dynamics is this animation showing hives getting out of winter. That kind of analysis sheds light on a phenomenon that otherwise remains hidden and much less understood.
Working with beeInformed
We also share Beecounted.org data with the Bee Informed Partnership. Bee Informed Partnership Inc. (BIP) is a US national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization using science-based, data-driven approaches to improve the health and long-term sustainability of honey bees (Apis mellifera), other plant pollinators and the ecosystems upon which they depend.
Contributors are welcome
#Savethebees mission can be a full-time job. We’re doing this as better as we can, with the available internal resources (which are always short). If you are interested in contributing to that mission, write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.