We Aim to Empower Research on the Root Causes of Pollinator Decline.
In recent years, pollinator decline has come about the front pages of global conversations. However, this increased attention has inevitably given rise to controversy. Let’s take the honeybees, for instance, a species that has been known to act aggressively towards other pollinators. This revelation has given rise to an anti honey bee (which are actually an invasive species) sentiment that polarizes environmental workers and activists. Some have even opted for the complete removal of honey bees and other invasive species. A radical action like this will likely bring unforeseen consequences, but to some, it remains an ‘obvious’ solution. Why might this be consequential, you ask?
Nothing Lives in Isolation
Every living organism exists in a biological sphere that we call a ‘system’. If you were asleep throughout high school biology like our executive director Jason Liao was, allow us to jog your memory. In these systems, species form relationships and coexist with each other in order to survive. Take for example the bee, which sustains itself with nectar while pollinating our crops. Or perhaps the anemone, a sea creature which cleans itself by sheltering nearby clownfish. If the clownfish was removed from the equation, the sea anemone would have a much more difficult time preserving its livelihood. An uncountable number of species interact with and depend on each other for survival, and the disappearance of only one proponent could mean extinction for many other organisms in the system. So what would happen if you subtract a honeybee from its local system? Contrary to popular belief, this is actually a grey area for a lot of environmentalists. Because pollinator systems are so heavily understudied, we’re left guessing the side effects of removing and adding certain species from a system. This is what makes attempting to ‘save the bees’ so dangerous; this is why increasing attention on pollinators right now is like opening a can of worms; we simply do not know how to do it without causing further any further harm.
Why Will Research on Pollinator Systems be Meaningful?
Once we familiarize ourselves on the interactions that take place within these pollinator systems, we can identify what relationships are sustaining the vitality of bees – and more importantly which ones are harming them. Then, if we isolate these variables, we can gauge the precise effects of bees on their local system. This way, we’ll be able to formulate a step-by-step blueprint on how we can help reverse pollinator decline and foster environments where they can thrive without causing harm to other animal species. Much more empirical evidence will be given on which factors are positively and negatively contributing to pollinator health, so we can refocus the efforts of environmental scientists/activists on the root sources of pollinator decline. Of course, nothing is ever as easy as it seems. This is why we’re aiming to empower ways of fund this research: to find out what works and what doesn’t.
Here’s Our Plan.
In the coming year, The Pollinator Project will be working closely with eminent members of the scientific community to develop a plan to empower this field of research.
Identify the Necessary Resources Needed for Pollinator Systems Research
We will continue to work with environmental scientists to find what resources (such as access to certain plants, pollinator species, and tools) will be needed to conduct effective pollinator research.
Look into the Construction of a Dedicated Research Facility
By creating model research facilities, we will find which work environments pollinator systems research can thrive in.
Campaign for Change
We will ensure that the findings of this undertaking are practically integrated by city planners, environmentalists, and the scientific community.
Interested in helping us empower pollinator systems research?
Let’s start a conversation!