Welcome to BeeLifePublished: Wednesday, 10 October 2018
The BeeLife Platform is the University’s Research Apiary. Initiated, with the intention of providing a test-bed for technical solutions which address strategic food security threats and to support the GCRF Strategy.
The BeeLife Platform is the University’s Research Apiary. Initiated, with the intention of
providing a test-bed for technical solutions which address strategic food security threats and to support the GCRF Strategy and the UK Governments ’National Pollinator Strategy 2014-2024’. BeeLife is centred in Computer Science with 10 voluntary bee keepers to perform weekly hive maintenance and record the ground truth of the hive(s) state.
Honey Bees are the main pollinators of flowering plants, and according to Defra’s 2011 Governmental report ‘Biodiversity dependencies on pollinators’ pollination by insects is essential to maintaining plant genetic diversity. Biodiversity and plant diversity being a key component of both the RCUK GCRF Strategy, and is listed as topic 15 in the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development (SDGs).
Honey Bees are also critically important for sustainable agriculture – another GCRF Strategy and Challenge Area. Globally, 9.5% of the total economic value of agricultural production for human consumption comes from insect pollination. This amounted to just under $200 billion in 2005. The value of crops pollinated by bees in the U.S. alone was estimated at $14.6 billion in 2000. Further, the UK Governments July 2013 report on The value of Bees to the economy estimates the economic value of pollinator services to be ‘in the order of hundreds of millions of GBP’; making it a key aspect of agri-food production both in terms of sustainability and food security.
However, honey bees face a number of natural and man-made environmental threats as detailed in the Defra ‘Contingency Plan for Plant and Bee Health in England 2017’. These threats place the environment, biodiversity, sustainability, and food security in question.
Supporting multiple GCRF Strategy and Challenge Areas, BeeLife is a strategic research platform which (1) removes barriers between third party project proposals and external funding; (2) accelerates potential new grant income by fostering new connections between inter-disciplinary researchers; and (3) demonstrates this work has impact by making a positive difference to society. BeeLife primarily addresses challenges in the social responsibility, sustainability, population health, agri-food, and food security space. And supports researchers interested in (i) how technology can be leveraged to better address specific issues related to this space; and those interested in (ii) how designing solutions for these challenge areas can push forward their fundamental technology.
More on Beelife at http://bit.ly/uom-beelife.