Modern agriculture depends on bees. In fact, our entire ecosystem, including the food we eat and the air we breathe, counts on pollinators. But the pollinator population is declining according to Sabiha Rumani Malik, the founder and executive president of The World Bee Project. But, in an intriguing collaboration with Oracle and by putting artificial intelligence, internet of things and big data to work on the problem, they hope to reverse the trend..
Why is the global bee population in decline?
According to an Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report, pollinators are in danger. There are many reasons pollinators are being driven to extinction, including habitat destruction, urbanization, use of pesticides, pollution, fragmentation of natural flowering habitats, predators and parasites, and changing climate. However, until recently, with The World Bee Project’s work, there hasn’t been a global initiative to study bee populations or to research and attack the issue from a global perspective.
Why is it important to save the bees?
Did you know that bees, along with other pollinators, such as butterflies, are the reason plants can produce seeds and reproduce? According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 35 percent of food crops and three-quarters of the world’s flowering plants depend on bees and pollinators. In fact, in order to ensure the almond crop gets pollinated in California each year, most of the beehives in the United States are shipped to California to ensure it. In fact, bees help to pollinate 90% of the leading global crop types, including fruit trees, coffee, vanilla, and cotton plants. And, of course, healthy plants are critical in replenishing our oxygen supply thanks to photosynthesis.
If the pollinators aren’t alive or healthy enough to do their job, our global crop production, food security, biodiversity, and clean air is in peril. Honeybees are the world’s most important pollinators. As much as 40 percent of the global nutrient supply for humans depends on pollinators. Presently there are approximately 2 billion people who suffer deficiencies of micronutrients.