“Pollination by Bees”
Period of implementation of the project:
Of the 100 crop species that provide 90 % of the world’s food, over 70 are pollinated by bees.
UN Environment Programme
Modern approaches in crop production provide a high-quality and safe food supply to the ever-growing world population. Meanwhile, the practices of intensive agriculture, use of pesticides, and the reduction of natural habitats associated with them, which has been observed over the past ten years, have lead to the decimation of pollinators, – honeybees – which are directly responsible for producing 1/3 of the world’s food. Ukrainian beekeepers faced this problem.
In 2020, Kernel launched the “Pollination by Bees” project in partnership with the NGO “All-Ukrainian Brotherhood of Beekeepers of Ukraine”. The idea behind the project is to create and test algorithms of interaction between agricultural producers and beekeepers. Our ambitious goal is to develop an effective model of cooperation that would scale up from the company level to implementation at the national level. Indeed, Kernel created a system for managing the placement of hives on its fields, maintains constructive communication with beekeepers and follows the rules of informing them about technological operations before they are exercised. We also adjust our technological maps to use bee-safe pesticides. For the purposes of this project Kernel set up its own apiaries.
The specificity of suggested algorithms lies in Kernel financially rewarding beekeepers for placing their hives on the company’s fields. Therefore, beekeepers receive a safe and profitable environment for realization of their commercial goals. In turn, entomophilous crops (sunflower and rapeseed) receive an additional factor of the higher completeness of pollination, which can potentially be translated into an increased yield by 1-3 quintals per hectare.
This model of cooperation is an example of a special category of economic incentives to protect the environment, the so-called “payment for ecosystem services”, which is innovative in Ukraine. Potentially, in the future, the project will include an element of financial reward to beekeepers for the pollination services they provide. We believe this will create powerful momentum for the promotion of sustainable crop practices throughout the agricultural sector of Ukraine and will stimulate the creation of a market for bee pollination at the national level.
This year, more than 40,000 hectares of our fields in five oblasts of Ukraine were pollinated by 8,586 bee families, of which 1 400 belong to Kernel’s own beehives, and the rest to our partners.
The positive effects of the project fall into three categories, which comprehensively demonstrate a significant contribution to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, namely:
- Environmental. Incentive to use bee-safe plant protection products (PPP) in the agricultural sector of Ukraine helps to address global and national threats of crop reduction resulting from honeybee deaths. It also contributes to the conservation of biodiversity by reducing the impact of PPP on wild insects.
- Social. Encouraging productive collaboration between agribusiness and beekeepers minimizes conflicts between these parties and increases the level of involvement of local communities. Additionally, the project emphasizes the important role of pollinators in improving crop quality and strengthening the country’s food security in the long-term perspective.
- Economic. The “Pollination by Bees” project is a role model for creating a market of pollination services in Ukraine in the future.
About the company:
Kernel is the world’s largest manufacturer and exporter of sunflower oil, a key supplier of agricultural products from the Black Sea region to the world markets.
Sustainable Development Goals
NGO “All-Ukrainian Brotherhood of Beekeepers of Ukraine”