Global honey bee populations are decreasing at an alarming rate.  And you can be part of the solution to turn this around. 

Did you know?

Honey bees are essential for the pollination of about one third of the food we eat – including fruit, vegetables, oils, seeds and nuts – yet globally their heath and ability to pollinate our crops is under serious threat.

Why help the honey bee?

There are significant gaps in our knowledge of normal bee behaviour, posing a challenge for scientists trying to prevent colony collapse. Complex interacting factors are involved in the significant decline in bee populations, including intensified agriculture, habitat loss, Varroa mite, bee pathogens, pesticides and climate change.

Understanding how bees spend their time, how far they travel and what they are doing is crucial in finding solutions to the many threats they face.

Connecting people to science and nature

Bees with backpacks is Earthwatch Australia’s citizen science contribution to understand and prevent colony collapse, and forms part of the Global Initiative for Honey bee Health (GIHH).

Earthwatch is working with CSIRO to connect citizen scientists to the issue of honey bee health.  We will combine technology with pollinator science and place tiny sensors on bees to gather baseline data on honey bee behaviours.

Why is Earthwatch involved?

Your generous donation will help establish Bees with backpacks, an ambitious citizen science program that will connect everyday Australians to the global effort to save the honey bee.

The project provides an enormous opportunity to involve large numbers of people from all walks of life in real environmental science, and consequently inspire many more people to change attitudes and actions to live sustainably. 

What will citizen scientists do?

At each hive Earthwatch establishes we will schedule fortnightly ‘Scientist for a Day’ workshops. Participants work directly with scientists to place tiny radio-frequency identification (RFID) sensor tags on the bees recording spatial and temporal information about bee behaviours and deviations from the norm.

‘Scientist for a day’ participants will come away with greater knowledge and appreciation for our ecosystems, biodiversity, the fundamental role pollinators' play in food production - and most importantly – are empowered to take actions that keep our honey bees healthy. 

You can help

Pledge your support to Earthwatch Australia and the bees - donate now.

If you would like to establish the entire program, in Melbourne, or across Australia, we would welcome a confidential conversation about your philanthropic goals. 

Please call Fiona Sutton Wilson, Chief Development Officer, with any questions you may have on (03) 9016 7590.