This Simple Paper Could Save Bee Populations From Extinction

Saatchi & Saatchi developed a glucose-rich paper that they tout as an "energy drink for bees"

Jul 19, 2018

The magic of nature is that a single, tiny organism can make a bountiful and beautiful impact on our planet. Take for example bees, who stimulate biodiversity and food production, and also give us a glimpse into the fascinating and complex social systems that insects have.

Unfortunately, as of 2016, seven species of bees have been added to the US endangered species list, and the honey bee population, who are responsible for close to one-third of all the food we eat, dove temporarily to near-extinction rates.

The good news is that efforts throughout the world are seeking to bring the bees back, and many have been successful. One particularly creative solution that has been developed is called Bee-Saving Paper. This biodegradable paper encourages the survival and wellbeing of bees through several methods.

The paper itself is made up of glucose (which provides bees with nourishment) and seeds from the bee-feeding flower lacy phacelia (also known as purple or blue tansy). The lacy phacelia plant flowers abundantly and for a long period of time, is highly attractive to honey bees, and produces high quantities of nectar.

The paper is also coated in a biodegradable UV-paint, which to the bees creates an illusion mimicking a meadow of pollen. The paper is created by Warsaw-based marketing company Saatchi and Saatchi IS and City Bees, an organization that works to strengthen urban bee populations.

The paper can be used in paper bags, paper plates, or as honey jar labels. Bees would land on this paper, go for a munch, and continue on their way. The company describes the paper as a type of “energy drink for bees” allowing them to fly farther. Once the paper biodegrades, the seed can then grow into the lacy phacelia flower, further enhancing the health of the bee population.

Bees need all the help they can get. By planting flowers on our porches or our backyards, consuming organic fruits and vegetables, or by using bee-friendly products, such as the Bee-Saving Paper, we can revive this critical insect population back to healthy levels.

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HILLA BENZAKEN, CONTRIBUTOR
Hilla Benzaken is a dedicated optimist. Her happy place involves cooking, acting, gardening, and fighting for social justice. She writes about all things sustainability, innovation, and DIY.

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