Dear friends, this post is related to the Fundraising Campaign of Naturalistichno, in order to raise the rest of the funds needed for the realization of a scientific project aimed at acquainting, preserving and supporting bees, pollinators, melliferous (honey) plants, ecosystems and people and utilizing the natural resources in Bulgaria!
Since 2016, the teams of the Naturalistichno non-profit organisation and the Bee Eden Project are developing a draft proposal for а pilot scientific project fulfilling the aims of the project and organisation.
„The idea was born from our desire to get to know the role of bees and pollinators better, as well as to understand in detail their main food resources – the melliferous (honey plants). According to our professional knowledge, the pollinator-plant interaction plays a huge role in the biodiversity of the ecosystems and is a key factor for the wide variety of food that we consume, as well as it is providing valuable healing products derived from beekeeping and herbs collecting. After conversations with various experts in these areas, we found a common language with scientists and branch representatives from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, University оf Forestry , Medical University of Sofia, the Bulgarian organic beekeeping association and together we wrote a draft proposal for a PILOT PROJECT FOR BIODIVERSITY SURVEYING OF MELLIFEROUS FLORA AND POLLINATORS IN THE FLORISTIC WESTERN BALKAN MOUNTAINS REGION.
The main objective of this scientific pilot project is to study the species diversity and resources of melliferous (including healing) plants in the floristic region of Western Balkan mountains, Bulgaria and the pollinating bee fauna. Aiming at acquainting, exploring, conserving, supporting and utilizing natural resources for the well-being of the ecosystems and people! The project will take place over 2 years: December 2017 – December 2019. and will bring opportunities to stimulate the work of the local beekeepers and herbalists, to unite different directions in science and to lay the foundations for complex studies as well as to focus the attention of the government institutions, national nature organisations and the Bulgarian society on very important issues for the future of our country.
This project is needed because today we are facing a very serious and growing problem affecting humanity, namely the disappearance of bees and other pollinators. Pollinators are predominantly insects – wild and domestic bees, butterflies, moths, flies, etc., which feed on pollen and nectar produced by the flowers of the plants. To satisfy their nutritional needs, each pollinator visits many flowers, doing so it transports pollen from one flower to another thus pollinating the plants. Pollinators are a functional ecological group that is extremely important for the biodiversity of nature and the diversity of our table. Today, from the food products that mankind consumes, 30% are direct products reaching us thanks to pollination. Also, dependent on pollination are crops used for feeding farm animals. About 90% of all wild plants exist due to pollinating insects and about 10% of the crop plants. The economic value of the „pollination services“ worldwide provided by bees is reaching 235-577 billion euros. Unfortunately, at present, bees and other pollinators have been scientifically proven to decline and disappear due to a number of factors including: urbanization impacts, changing land conditions, climate change, diseases and pests, etc. Data from recent research shows that the loss of honeybee bee populations is up to 53% in Europe.
More information about the statistics sources can be found in the Project Summary below.
The implementation of the project will bring many benefits to Bulgaria and Europe in the environmental, social and economic direction. It will lay the foundations for a new type of research that will provide very important results and guidelines for the understanding and conservation of important biological groups as well as for the proper use of important natural resources.
- The project will establish the species composition of the melliferous flora – a lists of the available species of melliferous plants (native, sedentary and invasive species) will be prepared.
- The large areas of melliferous plants will be mapped and their quantification will be assessed – the available resources of melliferous plants will be evaluated and economically significant habitats will be determined.
- On the basis of the species composition of melliferous plants, a scientific basis for the possibilities of using accessible, varied and sufficient grazing for the bee colonies in the area will be established as well as the possibilities of creating melliferous plants gardens with local flora species will be defined.
- Resource studies will also provide real data on the quality and quantity of the available food base of bee families. Statistical data processing will determine the preferred honeybee flora and the available species of plants and bees in the area under investigation.
- Field honey pollen tests of local beekeepers (pollen assays from hives) will be carried out to determine the botanical origin of honey and the percentages of individual melliferous plants.
- Pollen analysis and honey samples will also be used to determine possible chemical pollutants for the environment in the area.
- Educational, scientific and private „Ecological Pollinators Gardens“ (EPG) from the „Bee Eden“ project, run by the Naturalistichno organisation, will be created by using collected reproductive material of plant species authorized or not in compliance with the Medicinal Plants Act 2000 The Biodiversity Act (2002). This will help beekeeping and, at the same time, preserve the biological diversity in the area.
- The study will investigate the main threats to honey plants and their habitats and the main threats to pollinating bees in the Western Balkan Mountains floristic region.
- Information for the biology and behavior of bee colonies from local beekeepers in the area will be collected, as well as information for the ecology and vegetation status. The information will contribute to the establishment of climate change data and to the preparation of measures for the protection and regional sustainable development of pollinators.
- By implementing this pilot project, it will be possible to involve the general public and local governmental structures in nature conservation activities in relation to the conservation of plant biodiversity, including melliferous plants and their habitats in the area of research, as well as pollinators, especially honey- bees.
- The results obtained from the project will be in line with national and European policies in the field of biodiversity conservation.
- The survey data will be used by the Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW) in implementing the Biodiversity Conservation Policy, the Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water (RIEW) and the municipalities responsible for the surveyed area to achieve sustainable use and preservation of melliferous plants. They will also be used by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food (MAF) and local beekeepers to achieve effective and efficient development of beekeeping in the area. As well as by the members of the Naturalistichno Organisation, other organisations and other interested individuals.
- The results obtained will be presented and promoted in an attractive way to the general public, as promotional, information and educational materials in Bulgarian and English language. The results will also be presented at round tables at local and national level.
The fundraising campaign aims at raising the rest of the necessary financial resources for the project – Enterprise for Management of Environmental Protection Activities (EMEPA) at the Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW) approved our draft proposal in August 2017 but decided to finance 50% (49,900 Leva/25 000 Euro/250 000 SEK) of the requested amount (102,800 Leva/51 400 Euro/510 400 SEK).
Therefore, we have the task of providing the remaining 49,900 leva from other different sources.
What will you gain if you support this project:
- You will have the opportunity to give a hand to nature and to be together with us in an attempt to understand it better and to help it!
- You will help to start new studies of key organisms groups in ecosystems, which will contribute to the preservation of Bulgarian plants and the very important protection of bees today!
- You will also help beekeepers, herbalists and farmers in the area to find out which native plants are suitable for beekeeping and to focus on their growing or beekeeping near their location. Most of these plants are herbs and spices, which are medicinal or edible, and by their cultivation people will be able to grow themselves medicinal products and household meals!
- You will be able to contribute to the creation of Ecological Pollinators Gardens as well as to find out more about them and. As well as if you wish, to get knowledge and propagation materials from melliferous plants to create your own garden!
- You will also have access to the full research results. And, if you wish, will be involved in discussing all follow-up activities to build and establish a sustainable trading network for the distribution of plants, bee and medicinal products from the researched habitats and providers.
Do you want to support science, do you want to support nature, do you want to support local Bulgarian producers and communities, do you want to see more buzzing, colorful and fragrant gardens?
Each amount provided will be of utmost importance and will support the implementation of a noble initiative in support of Bulgarian nature and society, bees and plants worldwide conservation!
Your donation is an investment for the future of the Earth!
Please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
More information about the Bee Eden Project:
Thank you! 🙂🐝💕
The teams of Naturalistichno organisation and Bee Eden Project