The World Bee Project wants to use blockchain to protect the global bee population. The initiative aims at a blockchain-based honey supply chain tracking solution and blockchain-based data sharing for researchers.

Bees are way more important for our planet than most people know:

  • 87% of the world’s flowering plant species depend on pollination,
  • 1.4 billion livelihoods globally rely on pollinators,
  • 77% of the world food supply depends on pollinators,
  • up to $600 billion worth of annual agriculture is at risk as a result of pollinator loss.

Those figures are estimates by the U.N.-backed Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

Long story short: We need bees. And that’s not only because we want to enjoy honey for breakfast, but because bees are crucial for the global ecosystem.

That’s why the World Bee Project (WBP) was launched, a global honey bee monitoring initiative to devise innovative strategies to help farmers around the world to manage bee and pollinator habitats. The WBP has now partnered with Oracle, to leverage technologies that help accomplish the mission. One of those technologies is blockchain.

The BeeMark: Blockchain-based honey supply chain tracking

WBP and Oracle are working on a blockchain-based supply chain tracking solution for honey. Honey in supermarket shelves should get a “BeeMark” label, proving that it was produced under eco-friendly conditions.

Blockchain-based food labels are not a new idea. Bumble Bee Foods, for example, is using SAP’s cloud-based blockchain platform to track the supply chain of yellowfin tuna from Indonesia to the U.S. Tuna cans display a QR code which consumers can scan and access a blockchain-based database.

Likewise, Oracle and WBP develop a solution that certifies honey as genuine through information stored on a blockchain. It runs on the Oracle Blockchain platform and flags modifications to honey along the supply chain.

AI-based beehive monitoring and blockchain-based research data sharing

Besides the quality label, Oracle and WBP also plan on using blockchain to monitor beehives and deliver state of the art knowledge directly to the hundreds of millions of smallholder farmers around the world.

WBP is already using AI and sensor systems to gain insights into the inner lives of beehives. In the future, blockchain will aid the project by facilitating research cooperation.

Dale Gibson, founder of Bermondsey Street Bees in London, comments, “The World Bee Project has global ambitions but addresses issues and opportunities on a local level. We are beekeepers from London who work sustainably and own beehives in the countryside as well as in the city. We are excited about the idea of sharing our data and knowledge with the World Bee Project.”

Supply chain tracking benefits consumers and corporations

Food supply chain tracking is one of the most promising use cases of blockchain technology. Just recently, food retail giant Nestle has teamed up with the blockchain platform OpenSC to launch a supply chain tracking project. Walmart has announced a partnership with VeChain to track food via the Thor blockchain.

Increased transparency will not only add value to consumers but also to manufacturers. Food labels will provide them the opportunity to prove the quality of their products. It will also support corporations when applying for regulatory permits and improve their supply chain efficiency.

The WBP’s initiatives are neither about consumers nor corporations. It’s about bees. But eventually, all participants along the entire supply chain will benefit from greater transparency.

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