#9 Pollinators in Peril

“If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live.” Regardless of the accuracy of that famous quote, pollinators are indispensable to our planet. About one in three bites of food in the Western world depend on commercial bee pollination. But their numbers are dropping, fast. Bees and other insects are plagued by several afflictions. So what’s bugging the bugs, and what can be done about it?

Tim Joye

Artist Ghent, 🇧🇪 Belgium

Our first stop was at a vacant lot in our hometown, where art director Tim has launched his Beesphere project with the installation of the very first Beepod. It’s a neat structure covered with bee-friendly plants, and it provides a home to tens of thousands of bees. The project aims to bring the local community and bee culture closer together in these unused spaces.

Peter Neumann

Bee Professor Bern, 🇨🇭 Switzerland

A worldwide authority on bee health, Peter was the perfect person to explain the many factors that contribute to the diminished bee populations. He’s also the president of COLOSS, the research association that looks into colony losses, and a member of the B-GOOD project, which will gather data on sustainable beekeeping.

Roberto Pasi

Beeing CEO Cesena, 🇮🇹 Italy

Beeing is a company that tackles the pollinator problem like a Silicon Valley startup: with technology and innovative products. Their latest is the b-box, a stylish beehive that is simple, safe, and fun. Designed to give the bees a boost in our urban environments, it aims to lower the bar to get into beekeeping.

Additional notes & links

  • Here’s that Beepod, sitting in a vacant lot in Ghent.
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🚍➡️🐝 The Dutch city @GemeenteUtrecht has transformed 316 of its bus stops into bee stops. They did that by planting low maintenance greenery and wildflowers on the roofs of the bus shelters. The bee stops capture fine dust, they buffer rainwater and mitigate the summer heat, and of course they attract honeybees and bumblebees, which is great for biodiversity and pollination!⠀⁠⠀ ⠀⁠⠀ Find out why that’s so important at tomorrowpeople.today⠀⁠⠀ ⠀⁠⠀ (📷 by Clear Channel)⠀⁠⠀ ⠀⁠⠀ #beestops #busstops #utrecht #utrechtcity #inutrecht #utrechthotspot #hotspotutrecht #visitutrecht #utrechtcityguide #apicultura #apiculture #beelife #beelove #bees #beesarefriends #beesofinstagram #honeybee #honeybees #pollinators #rooftopbees #savethebees #urbanbeekeeping #urbanbees #podcast #tomorrowpeopletoday

Een bericht gedeeld door Tomorrow People podcast (@tomorrowpeopletoday) op

  • In September there was this scientific paper that claims wild bee populations are negatively affected by urban beekeeping, although it has since been contested and nuanced. Food for thought nonetheless.


🎵 All music by Lennart Schoors, except:
Ryan Taubert – Cheap as Chips
Lee Rosevere – Slow Lights
Lee Rosevere – Thinking It Over
Laxcity – Your Own Company
How Great Were the Robins – To Crown Misery (Instrumental)