Biodegradable Bee Saving Paper May Keep Them Buzzing
July 12, 2018 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
My kingdom for your Bee Saving Paper says the queen. This biodegradable paper becomes an “energy drink” for bees. To attract them, the paper contains a paste made from the same form of energy-rich glucose that beekeepers use during the winter, as well as seeds from the honey plant, Lacy Phacelia.
God Save the Queen!
The aim is to lure the bees to ingest the glucose for energy, while the seeds they leave behind grow into plants for pollination the following season. Just a pound of the paste can feed several thousand bees.
What humans see as a beautiful meadow, bees see as a field of red circles. The paper is covered with a non-sticky water-based UV paint in a pattern full of circles visible only to bees. Ultraviolet patterns outline “landing zones” for bees, pointing them towards the parts of plants containing nectar and pollen.
In collaboration with City Bees, an organization that encourages a passion for bees in urban communities, Polish advertising company Saatchi & Saatchi IS Warsaw originally created Bee Saving Paper as part of a “beesiness identity” project for a beekeeper who had lost over 95% of his hives.
Busy As a Bee
A hive of bees normally travels 90,000 miles to collect one kilogram of honey. But rapid industrialization and urbanization may be forcing bees to travel farther in search of pollen, exhausting them, and along with Colony Collapse, putting them on the verge of extinction.
Bee Saving Paper’s cofounder Anna Gadeckay envisions commercializing the paper globally for use in food packaging, coffee cup sleeves, parking tickets, bags, writing paper, disposable plates–essentially anything made of paper.
Why Do We Need Bees Anyway?
They may be unwelcome at a picnic, but without bees, we would all have less food on the table. Three-quarters of our major food crops depend on pollinators and bees are the powerhouse of pollinators–they pollinate about 70 of about 100 crop species that feed 90% of the world. Bees are essential for maintaining the biodiversity of our natural ecosystems. They may be a nuisance when dining outdoors, but the health of the planet and our survival depend on bees…so beefriend them.
What Can You Do?
1. Plant bee-friendly native plants to encourage biodiversity.
2. Plant organically, don’t use chemicals or pesticides.
3. Bees get thirsty–put out a small basin of water for them.
4. Buy local organic food and raw honey.
5. Build or buy a “bee hotel” for your garden.
6. Get involved with organizations that support bees like The Pollinator Partnership.
Photos via Bee Saving Paper.