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More bees increases pollination, increases crop yields, safeguard's 35% of the World's foods plus increses absorbtion of C02.


Description

Summary

Increasing honey bee populations delivers multiple benefits Worldwide;

Increases pollination of crops, increasing yields and safeguards production of 35% of the World's foods also increases growth of flora and flowering trees in turn increasing absorption of CO2 and other harmful to humans, wildlife and animals emissions while also increasing oxygen production which together helps offset impacts of Climate Change.

Honey bee populations declining by 25% - 35% annually partly due to falling numbers due to aging of 'hobbyist' beekeeping numbers and loss of forging habitats due to changes in farming practices. 'Hobbyist' beekeepers care for 75% of developed nations honey bee populations.

At £750 Sterling to start-up as a 'Hobbyist' Beekeeper is beyond the financial reach of the majority of people in developed and developing nations.

Providing FREE - basics of beekeeping training, weekly (in spring and summer months and fortnightly in winter months) onsite mentoring and further training by experienced beekeepers. three years loan of hives, equipment, protective clothing, honey bee starter colonies both enables low income individuals, community groups and schools to take up and via the income generated through sale of honey and bees wax products purchase the equipment etc. at the end of the loan period and in subsequent years generate an income for residents in developing countries.

On average a hobbyist beekeeper cares for between three to five colonies which annually increases the honey bee population in their area by around 210,000 to 350,000 bees.

Alongside increasing beekeeper numbers volunteer delivered reclamation of derelict and or long term vacant land increases honey bee and wildlife foraging habitats.

Extending the model to community groups has the capacity to contribute to the economic and social regeneration of multiply deprived and disadvantaged communities through the development of community owned beekeeping, honey & beeswax products producing social enterprises.

 

 

 

 


What actions do you propose?

 

 

 

 

This proposal seeks to address multiple negative impacts of climate change notably,

  1. Safeguarding and increasing Worldwide food production via increased pollination and increasing crop yields.
  2. Increasing absorption of CO2 and other harmful to humans, wild life and animals emissions via increased pollination of flowering trees, plants and flowers which in turn increases the numbers of trees and via photosynthesis increased absorption of emissions and increased production of atmospheric oxygen.
  3. Creating additional and replacing jobs lost via the impacts of climate change on agriculturally dependent nations, regions and areas.

These objectives will be achieved through;

  1. Securing start-up financing to over time (using established NGO's and in some instances Government departments) create a worldwide network to oversee establishment of 'in nation' hubs to administer and support delivery of programmes which will provide,

      a) low income individuals, community groups and schools with FREE initial 'basics of beekeeping training' delivered either over four consecutive six hour or six weekly four hour sessions.

     b) In years One and Two supported by six months of weekly onsite mentoring and additional practical training by experienced beekeepers during peak honey bee foraging months together with six over wintering months of monthly onsite training/mentoring. Reducing in Year Three to fortnightly onsite visits during peak foraging months and bi-monthly over wintering visits.

     c) FREE loan of hives, beekeeping equipment, protective clothing and honey bee starter colonies. At the end of three years from the proceeds of selling honey, pollen, propolis and beeswax products newly 'qualified' beekeepers either purchase hives, equipment etc. at the original purchase price or return it all for re-loaning to new intakes of trainee beekeepers.

  d) During the loan period trainee beekeepers/groups/schools 'donate' 50% of the honey and beeswax, propolis, pollen etc. produced by their colonies to the 'organising' hub/NGO etc. the proceeds from the sale of which are used to contribute to financing the costs of sustaining/expanding the programme.

     e) Providing that their original and subsequent colonies are strong/large enough in years Two and Three trainee beekeepers also 'donate' a starter colony of 5,000 bees to the hub/NGO etc. With the addition of a new mated Queen bee these colonies are loaned out to new joiners to the programmes. These and the preceding requirements will end on conclusion of the three years loan period. At which point graduate beekeepers will own all honey, beeswax and related products produced by their colonies and will be free to sell them either to the centralised buying scheme operated by each regional hub or on the open market. In other words providing that the quality of their products meet the programmes quality assurance scheme standards they are guaranteed a market for their products at prevailing wholesale market prices.

      f) During years Two & Three in addition to improving their beekeeping skills trainees either individually or as part of a cooperative, community group or school will be instructed and mentored in the core skills required to run either a self employed or community owned and managed beekeeping, honey, honey and beeswax by-products producing business.

     g) They will also have the opportunity to gain skills required in the production of honey and beeswax based added value consumer personal and hair care, bathing, cosmetics, flavoured honeys, confectionery etc products.  

      h) Coinciding with individuals, community groups, cooperatives and schools developing sustainable and increasingly profitable businesses each geographic hub will have facilities for the extraction, bottling and labeling of honey, a tools and equipment  'library' where trainees can borrow specialist tools and equipment for production of beeswax and other honey derivative products.

      g) The hubs will also operate bulk purchase of additional ingredients, materials, packaging, disease prevention treatments  etc.schemes allowing trainees and graduates to purchase supplies in smaller quantities at lower costs.

      h) The hubs will also operate finished products collection and distribution, sales and marketing, micro finance loans for business expansion, additional training and support services.

At its peak each additional honey bee colony produces an additional 70,000 to 100,000 bees the majority (95%) being female worker bees who forage and bring back to the hive pollen and nectar the essential ingredients of honey. In the process of foraging on average each worker bee during its six week life span (three weeks of effective foraging) visits and pollinates around 105,000 flowering crops, produce, plants flowers and flowering trees. These increased levels of pollination not only safeguard growth of existing crops responsible for production of 35% of the World's foods but have the potential to increase crop and produce yields by between 18% to 71% an average of almost 44% which translates into a 22% increase in existing food supplies. Increased levels of pollination also increases production & yields of 'wild' foods which are beginning to make a small but significant contribution to food supplies in both developed and developing countries.

2)

a) Photosynthesis is the natural process by which trees, plants, certain crops, produce and flowers absorb Carbon/C02 from the atmosphere converting it into Oxygen which is returned to the atmosphere and creates food for themselves. While the process has no effect on reducing the production of C02 and other harmful to humans, animals and wildlife emissions it does make a considerable contribution to absorbing these emissions and thereby to offsetting their effects as a major causal factor in Climate Change.

b) Increasing the World's honey bee populations (especially in those nations with above average levels of C02 emissions) has the capacity to make a direct impact on absorption of Carbon, production of oxygen and thereby in combating the negative impacts of Climate Change.Increasing availability of honey bee pollination directly increases the numbers of elements/areas a plant, flower, tree etc. has to absorb C02 and other emissions. It also increases the levels of new/additional growth/reproduction of plants, trees etc. available for photosynthesis thereby increasing absorption and oxygen production levels.

3.

The United Nations FAO estimates the value of pollination alone by honey bees at worldwide at £140 billion a year. When taking into account foods produced from crops reliant on honey bee pollination the annual global value of honey bee pollination is currently estimated at £5,000 billion annually. With the World's population doubling in the past 50 year and calories consumed by the average person up by 30% so the value of foods directly reliant on crop pollination by honey bees is expected to double over the next 30 years. Possibly quadrupling as the World's demand for food is projected to have increased by 70% by 2050. Not that 35% of the World's foods alone are reliant on honey bee pollination. The continued global decline in honey bee populations, down by a Worldwide average of 38% in the past 20 years (45% in the UK in the past five years, 25% across the whole of Europe in the past 30 years and 40% in North America over the same period) is resulting in shortages of essential ingredients used for example by the Pharmaceutical, Perfume, Bio Fuels and several other industries where a considerable number of ingredients derive from natural plants for which there are as yet no man made alternatives. Unless actions are taken to contribute to reversing the continuous decline in honey bee numbers Worldwide then increasing food shortages and spiraling prices will become increasingly common part of our everyday lives. As too will be the loss of jobs. Not just in the farming and produce growing sectors but also in food - processing, packaging, distribution, retailing, marketing, and sales sectors. Falling pollination levels are also seeing jobs lost in less obvious and indirect direct sectors such as agricultural , processing, retailing, labeling, packaging ,product container, vehicle etc. equipment and machinery manufacturing.                                                                                           It is impossible to reliably estimate the number of both direct and indirect jobs reliant on  pollination by honey bees. The UK's 300 plus commercial bee farmers (those with 600 plus honey bee colonies) employ an estimated 3,000 people while at the lower end of the scale there are an estimated 8,000 self- employed 'commercial' beekeepers caring for between 30 to 150 colonies. Taking into account those employed in food processing and retailing, packaging, distribution, marketing, equipment manufacturing and ancillary sectors such as pharmaceuticals, health and beauty, products, bio fuels, garden centres etc. in whole or in part reliant on honey bee pollination of plants, produce and crops pollination the numbers could well run into the tens of thousands - millions globally. Reversing declines in honey bee populations Worldwide is not only essential in safeguarding these and creating additional jobs in multiple sectors but also in contributing to the economic well being of all nations. In developing nations using the model described above beekeeping has the proven capacity to augment the incomes of subsistence farmers, create livelihoods for both individuals and whole communities while through economies of scale over time create employment in areas such as distribution, administration, sales, marketing, infrastructure management among others.   

4)

a) Alongside the above in developed countries the loss of honey bee foraging habitats through large scale, more intensive farming methods, the continually growing public preference for minimal maintenance gardening and loss of urban green spaces through developers seeking to maximise income from continuously increasing land values by using every available area for building developments.

b) Replacing lost foraging habitats is an essential element in these proposals for developed countries.  Farmers will be encouraged to plant fallow strips along the edges of fields with self seeding wild and meadow flower seeds ideally cooperating with their neighbours to create pollinator corridors. Local authorities will be encouraged to undertake similar plantings using roadside verges and highway dividing strips. owners of derelict and long term vacant land will be encouraged to 'donate' use of the land for volunteer delivered reclamation planting flowering fruit tree saplings to create open access community orchards or planting with shrubs and sowing ares with wild and meadow flower seeds. Through twice a year distribution of FREE fruit tree saplings, plants and packets of wild and meadow flower seeds gardeners and householders will be encouraged to create areas or window boxes of honey bee foraging habitats.

                                                                                        


Who will take these actions?

To reduce costs, minimise delays in implementation, avoid duplication and better ensure the success of these proposals requires the involvement of existing infrastructure organisations, NGOs, in country national, regional and local government departments, locally focused cooperatives, community organistions, schools, micro finance bodies, sector intermediary bodies, community leaders and activists, experienced beekeepers, businesses and volunteers among others.

During the start-up phase, Scotland based  Kelvin Valley Honey (KVH) will act in a coordinating and advisory role bringing together the principle individuals and organisations who will have responsibility for implementation of the proposals in their respective countries. KVH will also deliver training in delivering and adapting the proposed actions to suit the conditions and circumstances of individual participating nations and implementing organisations. It will continue to act as mentors for the start-up organisations for the initial three year years development phase with the aim of establishing a bank of individuals and organisations in each participating country to deliver the various programme elements at the end of the three year start-up phase. 

KVH are the original designers of the approaches outlined in these proposals and for the past four years have pioneered their development enabling over 600 individuals, community group members and school pupils to take up and sustain beekeeping together with supporting the development of 14 replica KVH model beekeeping, honey, honey and beeswax consumer products producing social enterprises. Collectively adding an additional 10 million bees annually to Scotland's honey bee populations. KVH's income from the sale of honey, honey and beeswax personal and hair care, bathing, cosmetic, natural healing, foods and household products has increased from £22,000 in 2011/12 to £1.268 million in 2014/15.

 

 


Where will these actions be taken?

While proposals have the potential for global implementation resource limitations dictate that during Phase One they be limited to three  developed and three developing countries each being reasonably representative of the wider conditions and circumstances elsewhere in the World.

We are proposing that during Phase One the following countries participate for the reasons stated -

Developed Countries:

 

 

  1. European Union - Poland and Estonia as they have similar climates and declining honey bee population rates as Scotland where the proposals have already bee trialed and are reasonably similar to a number of other northern European countries. 
  2. South Western China - an area where the honey bee population is almost non existent due to over use of pesticides and industrialisation. Where crop pollination is commonly undertaken by humans. An area mirroring conditions and circumstances elsewhere in Asia.

 

Developing Nations - Sub Saharan Africa.

  1. Malawi as it typifies several other African nations with fragile economies, is experiencing food shortages, a malnourished population and already has a culture and infrastructure geared up to micro business development/self employment and a network of agricultural cooperatives.
  2. Cameroon despite it's relative wealth in terms of mineral, timber and oil the majority of the population (70%) are subsistence farmers. What surpluses they produce are sold via cartels who fix prices below market rates. There are only a handful of cooperatives in the country which has an unemployment rate above 30% 

Developing Nations - Central & South America.

  1. Haiti is the poorest country in central/south America reliant on aid and imports for the majority of its staple food supplies. Despite which its climate is well suited to growing and processing of premium value products. Agriculture in Haiti is a diverse mix of absentee landlords, rented small holdings and share cropping where 50% of produce is given to the landlords.

 

 

  

 


How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?


What are other key benefits?

A further benefit of these proposals is raised public awareness of the contributions humans make towards declining honey bee populations which in turn leads to greater awareness in developed countries of the wider negative environmental impacts of peoples personal behaviours. In turn resulting in behaviourial changes (reduced car use for incidental journeys, increased recycling of household waste, enhanced efforts to reduce energy and water use etc.). They have the potential through small business development and self-employment to reduce unemployment as does increased development of beekeeping based social enterprises. Social enterprises contribute to regeneration of of disadvantaged communities and (in our experience) through collective action to contribute to increased community cohesion and inter-personal support and cooperation.

Increased public awareness frequently leads to demands for changes in government policy such as the EU banning of neonicotinoids in agriculture. 

 


What are the proposal’s costs?

 

 

While using existing in country infrastructure organisations (NGO's, Government Departments, piggy backing onto commercial product distribution networks, using social media mobile phone networks to raise awareness of the projects in developing countries etc.) will reduce costs nonetheless finance will need to be raised from a variety of sources to cover cost of hives, equipment, honey bee start-up colonies, training and coordination costs.

Manufacturing hives, equipment and protective clothing locally will also save costs (while also providing jobs) as will establishing start-up colony and Queen rearing facilities. A further  benefit of honey bees is that the number of colonies can be doubled each year without any further costs other than additional hives. 

Providing start-up loan hives, colonies etc. in developed countries will average £600 while in developing countries the average costs will be 50% less. Assuming each country having 100 participants a year over the three years of the pilot hive, colony equipment costs etc. will require financing of £270,000 (£180,000 in developed countries, £90,000 in developing countries.). Employing beekeeping trainers and mentors will add an estimated further £486,000 while coordination costs will be in the region of £250,000. A projected three year total of £1 million (£335,000 pa). will result in 1,800 new beekeeping enterprises collectively at the end of three years adding a further 1.8 billion to honey bee populations in the six paticipating countries annually. 


Time line

During the first five years the project will be piloted in six countries Poland, Estonia, Malawi, Cameroon, Haiti & S.W China.

Using the knowledge and skills gained from the pilots over the next decade with the support of international NGO’s & inter-governmental trade networks 11 regional administrative centers will be established with a further 75 countries having a network of training, mentoring, collection and distribution, micro finance etc. hubs with a sufficient number of self sufficient, sustainable and surplus income generating SME's and micro businesses to lift a minimum of 3% of the rural and urban fringe population out of poverty.

By the mid-22nd century every country having a well-established network of hubs, projects, social enterprises, SME's , micro and community owned businesses capable of lifting a minimum of 15% of the rural and urban fringe populations out of poverty.


Related proposals

With their regional, in country, local hubs and extensive network of SME's, micro, social enterprise and community owned businesses these  proposals have the potential capability and capacity to provide the infrastructure, foundations, shared aims and objectives to kick start and sustain a number of other Climate CoLab proposals. Especially those with the shared objectives of lifting people and communities out of poverty, levering in additional resources and sustaining enhanced quality of life. For subsistence farmers the provide an additional source of income an with pooled resources to improve infrastructures - clean water, alternative energy, health education and promotion, village and area wide schools among others. Together with contributing to human diseases eradication, practical skills development and via surplus incomes investing in additional/alternative crops and sources of income. 


References

The basis of these proposals lays not with scientific studies (though several provide a body of evidence in support of the claims made) but with five years of practical application by the sponsors throughout multiply disadvantaged/deprived communities and individuals across rural and urban Scotland.

Established in 2011 Kelvin Valley Honey via its unique in Europe 'Become a Beekeeper for Free' replica KVH model social enterprise development and support initiatives has enabled over 600 low income individuals, 46 community groups (involving almost 1,500 members)  eight High schools (involving over 400 pupils ) together with supporting the establishment of 26 community owned, replica KVH beekeeping social enterprises involving an additional 1,300 residents to be trained, a total of over 3,800 individuals to be trained take up and sustain beekeeping, honey, honey and beeswax consumer products making.  KVH's 'Become a Beekeeper for Free' and Replica Social Enterprise Development initiatives provide new entrants with; FREE basics of beekeeping training, three years of FREE loan of hives, equipment, protective clothing, a honey bee starter colony of 5,000 bees and a mated queen, all disease prevention treatments and over wintering feed. During spring and summer months each trainee beekeeper receives a weekly mentoring/further training on site visit by an experienced beekeeper reducing to monthly visits during winter months. In exchange for the loaned hives etc. KVH receives 50% of the surplus honey produced by each colony and in Year Three a 'split' of a queen less honey bee starter colony. At the end of the three year loan period graduate beekeepers either purchase the hive, equipment, protective clothing etc. at the original price paid by or returns everything for re-loaning. At the end of the loan period the graduate beekeeper, community group etc. retains ownership of all the honey and beeswax produced by their colonies. Trainees also receive instruction in the making of honey and beeswax consumer products.

Of the 600 long term unemployed and/or low income individuals 390 have become self employed beekeepers also making honey and beeswax consumer products. Across all 390 their average income after costs totals £28,000 more than sufficient income to take them off benefits and have an enhanced quality of life. Among community organisations 14 of the 26 have established in profit micro beekeeping etc. businesses generating an average annual profit in the region of £44,000 and all eight schools use their hives as a basis for Scotland's Enterprising School's initiative with each school generating an average surplus of £11,000.  We believe that the evidence gained by KVH over the past four years demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposals of lifting people out of poverty, generating annual surplus incomes to sustain community owned social enterprises and micro businesses. With the model itself being replicable in any country and environment.