WHY DO WE CARE ABOUT BEES?• Bees play a crucial role as pollinators: a third of our foods depend on them (apples, oranges, peaches, pears, all kind of berries, cherries, broccoli, onions, nuts, almonds, etc.). • But bees are in crisis: numbers of domesticated honeybees as well as wild bees (e.g. bumblebees or solitary bees) are in steep decline due to increased mortality in bee colonies. • In fact, bee health is affected by numerous factors, which also explain the decline: the use of pesticides, changes in climatic and environmental conditions, loss of plant diversity, changes of land use and agricultural practices including increased monocultures and the presence of invasive species all combine to weaken colonies' immune systems and make them more susceptible to opportunistic pathologies. • This has a profound negative impact on agriculture, food production and food security, biodiversity and environmental sustainability.
AN INITIATIVE FOR HEALTHIER BEES:• Bee2Bees is a project to track losses in bee colonies across Europe available at: http://www.bee2bees.eu/ . • Beekeepers can use the website either on their smartphone or on a computer to share information about the health of their bees. • It is based on an open source and open data website: data uploaded on the website can be freely accessed and used. Regular data entries will enable beekeepers, but also bee advocates from the general public or the scientific community to monitor, use or analyse this data. • The website is available in several languages and allows open data mapping and the identification of geographic areas where bee health suffer from human or environmental factors. • Beekeepers all around Europe are invited to take part to this project. Thanks to their contributions this participative tool will be able to play a crucial role in filling in the gaps in terms of scientific evidence, showing the risks to bee populations caused by the current agricultural model. • This initiative is not in any way intended to replace the work of researchers and bee specialists, but is designed as an objective gauge with which to raise awareness of the issues affecting bees. *** This project is promoted by 3 main partners: BeeLife, the European Beekeeping Coordination, an association working for the protection of bees at European level, provides scientific and technical expertise to the initiative as well as a networking platform for beekeeping organizations. Citoyens capteurs, a network of citizens on sciences and participatory democracy. The Greens/EFA in the European Parliament, engaged to defend open data technologies and protection of biodiversity, in particular via their 'Give Bees A chance Campaign': If you are a beekeeper, a scientist, a citizen willing to advocate for bees? Go to http://bee2bees.eu/opendata , and use and analyse the data collected!<xml></xml>