World Bee Day focuses on protecting pollinators

Governments, farmers, consumers and agtech startups all have a role to play in reversing bee colony loss.

Friday, May 20, marks World Bee Day, a United Nations initiative to raise awareness among people, governments, and farmers about the importance of these insects to humanity and the food supply.

According to the UN, almost 90 percent of the world's flowering plants, 75 percent of food crops and 35 percent of the world's agricultural land depend, to some extent, on pollination.

But bee colonies are being lost at an unprecedented rate around the world, putting the future of the world's food supply in jeopardy.

Fortunately, everyone can play a role in protecting these pollinators. The UN has presented a series of recommendations for governments, farmers and consumers to protect these pollinators.

For governments and policy makers, it recommends promoting the participation, knowledge sharing and empowerment of indigenous and rural peoples, as well as introducing economic incentives to promote positive change.

Farmers are asked to set aside areas as natural habitat, create plant barriers, reduce or modify pesticide use, respect nesting sites, and plant attractive crops around the field.

Consumers can play their part by buying raw honey and other sustainably sourced agricultural products.

The threat to bees has also sparked a wave of innovation from agtech startups, which have developed a range of high-tech solutions to fuel bee population declines.

Creating hi-tech homes for bees

Israeli startup Beewise has developed Beehome, a newly designed hive that includes precision robotics, computer vision and artificial intelligence to enable constant monitoring of bees.

CEO and co-founder Saar Safra said high-tech houses significantly increase pollination capacity and honey production by detecting threats to a bee colony, such as pesticides and the presence of pests, and immediately defending against them.

“We are losing bee colonies at an unprecedented rate globally. Just 40 years ago, the annual rate of colony loss was just 3 percent. Today, it's more than 35 percent," Safra told Forbes.

"When this rate exceeds 50 percent, the world will not be able to sustain the bee population."

New bee delivery technology helps strawberries fight botrytis

Canadian company Bee Vectoring Technology (BVT) has devised an innovative bee delivery system that develops plants' natural immunity against various fungal diseases, including botrytis.

It uses commercially bred bumblebees to deliver a beneficial fungus that stimulates the immune system of plants, increasing their resistance to botrytis.

A small amount of the active ingredient is delivered directly to the strawberry flowers as they are pollinated by bumblebees, protecting them from infection.

CEO Ashish Malik said: “Bee Vectoring is an innovative all-natural system that helps produce a better berry crop, including higher yields and better shelf life, all without the use of chemicals.

“The application of the phytosanitary product with bees does not use water, nor does it require heavy machinery, so fossil fuels are not used either. It is an innovative environmental system that is giving excellent results”.

The Mexican avocado industry takes a step forward

As part of its commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Association of Producers and Packers of Avocado of Mexico (APEAM) said it is carrying out a series of actions to protect bees.

The association, which represents more than 30.000 avocado growers and 37 exporters, said studies show that bees perform best when a balance between plants, weeds and the crop is maintained: when avocado plants turn green and flower, bees migrate to them and pollinate. them.

For this reason, APEAM participates in the Maximum Pesticide Residue Limits (MRL) program, through which it has drawn up a list of authorized pesticides that are less harmful to the environment and have no harmful effects on consumers.

Likewise, in the orchards of its partners, more and more good agricultural practices are implemented, which increase the conservation and multiplication of weed plants and, consequently, the increase in pollinators.

Carrefour invests in new habitats for bees

Meanwhile, in Italy, Carrefour Italia has partnered with agritech startup 3Bee to plant three nectar-generating forested areas in Piedmont, Emilia Romagna and Lazio.

The areas will provide natural habitat for bees and other plant pollinators, as well as enhance the regions' overall biodiversity, the retailer said.

Previous article

next article


Driscoll's agrees to terms for Berry Gardens acquisition

Analysis of the world panorama of blueberry production

Paula del Valle will analyze the varieties of Peru and their post...