How to Save the Bee Population with a Sheet of Paper

Bee Saving Paper is a material suitable for many situations and purposes – but more than that: It’s completely biodegradable and is basically the bee equivalent for humans’ energy drinks.

A considerable number of bee species are at risk of extinction. But it’s not only the loss of bee populations we’d suffer from – with them also numerous plants and foods would sooner or later vanish from the surface. Saving bees should thus be among our number one priorities on the mission to make the world a better place. You might wonder now, what paper can do in order to save these fluffy insects.

Bee Saving Paper and the Idea behind it

Well, here’s the answer! The basic idea behind the project Bee Saving Paper is to shorten the distances bees have to overcome in order to reach the plants of their interest. Due to the industrialization and urbanization, there are regions where grassed areas and flowers are becoming a curiosity. The long distances bees have to overcome exhaust them, which puts them on the verge of extinction.

Bee Saving Paper is a material suitable for many situations and purposes – but more than that: It’s completely biodegradable and is basically the bee equivalent for humans’ energy drinks. It was developed by the bee charity City Bees and Warsaw branch of Saatchi & Saatchi, who claim that 222 out of 469 bee species in Poland are on the verge of extinction. The underlying concept is the following: The paper is used for whatever purpose and simply thrown into the environment – no matter where you are. Bees on a long flight find it and can refuel with a boost of energy.

The Recipe for Bee Survival

There are three main ingredients that make up the recipe for Bee Saving Paper. Glucose is the first one: It’s responsible for the good taste of the paper. Already a small amount of this energy-rich form of glucose feeds several thousand bees. And the efficiency of this substance has already been proven: Beekeepers use it during winter, when there are no or not enough flowers for the bees to extract food from. Experts call the food “fondant for bees”.

The second mysterious ingredient is honey plant seeds from a Lacy Phacelia. It’s among many bees’ favourite plants and on long distances could replace urgently needed plants to recover on. It’s a rest stop on a long travel.

Lastly, there’s a need for a visible signal to bees that there is something they can feed from in reach. The developers, thus, settled on a UV design. The paper is covered in a pattern full of circles from a water-based UV paint that only bees are able to see. These function like landing zones for the bees and replicate the nature-given ultraviolet patterns that point the insects towards the parts of the plants that contain all the good stuff, like nectar and pollen.

Combine them all, and you get a perfectly degradable Bee Saving Paper!

Status Quo of the Bee Saving Project

The fascinating aspect of this material is that it can be used for countless purposes, which cannot take much longer to be implemented. Be it coffee cup sleeves, bags or car park tickets: Think about how many of them end up in the streets. All this trash could soon be lifebuoys for bees.

The bee population unfortunately won’t be saved overnight, as Saatchi & Saatchi admit:

“Currently, we are focusing on seeking partners who, just like us, care about the future of bees. We know our innovation won’t solve the worldwide problem of the declining bee population by itself, but we hope we’ll at least make people realise how important bees are to us.”

For a closer look on the initiative and their mission, check out the image film of Bee Saving Paper. Here it is:

Have you heard of other great projects like this that combine paper and printing technologies with environmentally friendly purposes? Let us know in the comment section!

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