by Anna Wanninger
During the past 10 to 15 years beekeepers across the globe have detected a remarkable decrease of the bee population. In North America, the region with the most significant decline, this phenomenon is referred to as “Colony Collapse Disorder”. Having a closer look at Western Europe, we find France, Germany, Italy, the UK and Spain among the most affected countries.
Bees are more than just producers of honey and as such an essential component of our everyday life. “A world without pollinators would be a world without food diversity – and in the long run, without food security,” (José Graziano da Silva, FAO Director-General) According to the estimations of the FAO, 71 of the 100 crops that are responsible for 90% of the global food production are pollinated by bees. As one bee colony has the capacity to pollinate around 300 million flowers per day, in Europe we can enjoy around 4,000 different varieties of fruits and vegetables. Yet, also many wild and forage plants depend on their pollination. The reasons for the alarming development referred to above are multiple and interrelated.
Bees are very sensitive to any changes occurring in their environment. The most important reasons can directly be attributed to human action, such as the deterioration of their natural habitat, climate change, pollution, the usage of pesticides or monotonous agricultural practices. In Spain we suffer a lot of these bad habits of agriculture, therefore we promote a different way.
Crowdfarming becomes very popular in Spain
With the launch of CROWDFARMING, we have started our agricultural revolution in December 2015. This new way of understanding agriculture provides our clients the opportunity to plant their own tree on our plantation and receive its harvest directly at their doorstep. In doing so, we are only cultivating and harvesting what is really being consumed. With the 1,000 trees we have already planted for them, we will be able to save around 660,000 kg of oranges that would otherwise be thrown away along the conventional supply chain. Additionally to this, the recently planted trees provide food for new bee families and an herbicide and pesticide free habitat. Greenpeace and the FAO consider ecological agriculture as the most effective approach towards the protection of the honey bees. As a result, we want to open a new chapter of CROWDFARMING. From now on, our customers can adopt a bee family and thereby make their own contribution to the rise of the bee population and the preservation of their natural environment.What We Need is an Integrated Approach
International entities such as the United Nations or Greenpeace have already realized the urgency of the situation. Still, there is not enough action taken. We, the family of Naranjas del Carmen, are convinced that only an integrated approach can help to stop the increasing disappearance of entire bee colonies. Our own bees are pollinating the orange and mandarin trees of our plantation. As an additional bonus, we can enjoy their 100% pure orange blossom honey. Hence, we have decided to give our clients the opportunity to actively contribute to the protection of these essential little creatures.