Definition of Pollenize:
TO SUPPLY WITH POLLEN; TO SIRE THE NEXT GENERATION OF PLANTS.
Pollenize Community Interest Company brings together the power of community and technology to reverse pollinator decline.
Our aim is to introduce apiaries (Beehives) to high profile buildings in the centre of urban communities. These apiaries are stocked with Native European Dark Honey Bees.
We will be gathering environmental intelligence data through remote hive sensing equipment and we will perform honey pollen DNA analysis to improve the future resilience of urban pollinators and their habitats.
- Our current ecological and climate crisis
Our mission at Pollenize is to work alongside bees to bring attention to pollinator decline. It can be overwhelming watching news and social media bombarding us about the climate crisis, and it is easy to feel helpless, this is why Pollenize believes in the mantra: 'Think Global, Act Local' , this is how we can all make a difference.
We want Plymouth to lead the way by example for other cities to look to for how we can make our urban environments ecological havens for pollinators, and connect communities back to nature. The apiary enclosures will become the beacons for the community engagement in pollinator conservation. Our most important mission at Pollenize is to leave a healthy, habitable planet for the next generation to live in. Through our wildflower seed packets, local communities, engagement with schools, and keeping bees in our city, we will tackle pollinator decline locally.
- Future apiary sites for 2020 expansion
We want to set up four more apiaries across the city by 2020 in conjunction with the Mayflower 400 Commemoration, we have written agreements from The Box, Theatre Royal Plymouth, The National Marine Aquarium, and the Marine Biological Association. We will ask the future sites to pledge to the crowdfund as well. The set up and overheads associated with managing and maintaining our beehive network is what you will be supporting.
Let's put Plymouth on the map to be the UK's first pollinator friendly city!
We (Owen and Matt) are born and bred Plymouthians, who grew up together and finally decided that it was time to make some lasting impact in our home town. Pollenize is a fusion of ideas inspired by our allergy to pollen and fascination with bees. We had heard that local honey was a good way to immunise ourselves by dosing on it, with the hope of alleviating some of the symptoms. We couldn't find local honey easily, so over time, we looked into more innovative and accessible ways to keep honey bees in our urban landscape.
We acknowledged, like many others, that pollinator decline is a serious environmental problem, which we all have a responsibility to engage with, but how?
We approached iconic and interesting buildings/institutions in the city and explained what we wanted do, which is to engage the communities in these areas by using beekeeping and wildflower planting as the vehicle to carry the message of pollinator decline.
We were successfully awarded money from 'The Big Lottery - Awards for All' programme to set up the apiaries. We have also been able to access a grant from the 'Environmental Futures' and 'Big Data Impact Lab' to install our beehives with remote monitoring equipment for bee science and public engagement. We want to bring beekeeping into the 21st Century!
Each site has two bee hives stocked with Native European Dark Honey Bees. These bees are special, in the sense that they have come from a genetic pocket on the Rame Peninsula, whereby they have certain traits that are believed to better deal with our localised climate.
Remote Hive monitoring equipment
We use the most advanced hive monitoring equipment on the market, which will help us maintain and manage the hives. Pollenize is working with the B4 Project and the Environmental Futures and Big Data Impact Lab where our hives are kitted out with sensors from Arnia so data can be collected for bee science and public education through data visualisation. One important aspect the equipment can do is alert us to any potential swarming behaviour in hive, which will help keep the bees from flying away to find a new home. A key feature is that data can be shown and embedded onto the host organisation website as well the Pollenize website. We want to make beekeeping accessible to the public, by them directly getting involved in our beehive inspections or by being able to see how their cities bees are doing in their areas!
For some time now, our pollinators have been in trouble, intensive farming, overuse of pesticides, and loss of their natural habitat are just a few examples of their rapid decline. If we continue to dose our landscape with harmful chemicals, we will have no choice but to look to our cities to be innovative in their approach to pollinator conservation. Pollenize are looking to make urban ecological havens for pollinators.
"Since the second world war, we've lost 97% of our wildflower meadows, leaving our bees with little natural habitat. If pollinator numbers continue to decline at an alarming rate they currently are, lots of food crops we rely upon and enjoy every day will no longer exist." (Friends of the Earth)
At Pollenize, the real strength of what we do only comes from making partnerships and collaborations with our neighbours and accessing the communities we value in those areas. We've made some great connections throughout our journey so far, here are just a few:
The Lord High Admiral, The Hutong cafe, Minerva Street wear, Boston Tea Party Plymouth, Nudge Community, Cam Rose Sign Co , Index Art, Permaculture Plymouth, Cawfee, Grow Stonehouse, MVV, Real Ideas Organisation, Millfields Trust, Stride Treglown, Billy Finch Live Bee Kind, Plymouth Social Enterprise Network, Lucien Harris Wildlife Photography, Veggieloop, Dom Moore Photo, John Chan Art, Brittany Clark-Digital Marketing, Not For Robots, Atwell Martin, Alpha Logic, Royal William Yard, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Love Local Collective, Everything Digital, B4 Project, Mount Edgcumbe Cornish Beekeeping Group, Elite Air Imagery , Plymouth Play Scrap Store and to all our close friends who have helped put together beehives, frames, and sow on our Pollenize patches to our bee suits, you know who you are.
This is not an exhaustive list to show who we know, but these are the people who have done something special to help Pollenize on our journey. Power to the community!
- Handmade Wildflower Seed Packets & Citizen Science
One other way in which we engage the communities where our beehives are, is by getting them to sow Pollenize Wildflower Seed Packets that are necessary to enable the establishment of a healthy habitat for local honey bees and other pollinators alike. Our seed packets have 20 different native wildflower varieties! The seed packets are part of a city wide citizen science project where we ask the 'seed sowers' to go online to our website and enter sowing co-ordinates, so we can see where people are planting and engaging in green space in the city. We want to extend this to schools in the city. You can support this by sponsoring seeds for schools on our crowdfund. Here is a photo of some of the sponsors and collaborations we have done so far:
- Pollinator Friendly Pub- The Lord High Admiral
These guys have really let us get involved with the space they have created. This is a true example of how communities thrive when people can be part of something in their area.
We have a variety of rewards, so as to allow the pledge to 'bee' something that is specific to you. It ranges from our custom made Pollenize Bee Enamel Pins to becoming a Pollenize Patron and getting stuck in with our beekeeping inspections.
Our custom made pin is there so you can proudly display your support of pollinator conservation. The design credit goes to Josh BlackWell Graphic Design.
- Bee Lino Print-Local Artist Rosie Bowery
Local Artist Rosie Bowery has kindly donated her Lino prints she has especially made for our Pollenize Crowdfunder. We only have very limited amount of this beautiful artwork, so be sure you grab one as soon as possible.
- Sponsor a local school with Seed Packets (20 different varieties)
Our aim is to get as many seed packets into as many children's hands at school. You can sponsor 5 or 10 packets. This is part of our city wide citizen science seed project, it will help combat pollinator decline, and you would've aided in teaching children the important of pollinator conservation. Once we have final numbers of pledges to this reward, we will equally divide as many seed packets to as many local schools as possible.
- Buy Seed Packets for your Garden (20 different varieties)
Make your garden an oasis for Pollinators too! Give some to your neighbours, friends, and family. Listen carefully for the beautiful buzz of nature, and rest assured that you took action to combat pollinator decline in your own back garden.
Our custom pin, and our custom bees wax wraps. The wraps are great alternative to cling film, they're 100% organic and 100% compostable. (The bundle comes as a Small 7*8"/17.5*20cm Medium 10*11"/25*27.5cm Large 13*14"/33*35cm).
- Individual Annual Pollenize Patronage
This reward is our favourite, we've seen first hand the smiles our current patrons get from coming on the bee inspections with us. Over the beekeeping calendar you get access to some of the select apiary sites where you get up and close with the bees. You can be involved as little or as much as you like, you can watch as the beekeeper runs you through what she/he is doing or you can help spot the queen and give the smoker a few puffs. This is great for people considering keeping bees at home, it will give you a great idea if its for you or not. Plus we can tell you the realities of the management and maintenance side of keeping bees. All Beekeeping PPE is provided.
Here are some testimonials from our Patrons:
Michael Brian Says:
"What a privilege to be part of this amazing community project. I have wanted to keep bees for years but not been in a position to do it as of yet.....and then Owen and Matt come along.
I have attended several hive inspections and learnt so much from the guys about the bees, their vision and where they want to take this and meet some great like minded people.
We need these bees, and they need us to do what we can for them.
Get involved, you will love it and it will get you out in nature. What could be better for you both physically and for your soul. We can all do our bit thanks guys, you are an inspiration to us all and it shows what can be achieved as a community."
David Curry Says:
"Everyone can do something small and be part of something big."
- Business Annual Pollenize Patronage
Sponsor an apiary, help with the set up and ongoing costs of the maintenance of the hives and we will name it after you. Adopt a beehive and we will get a plaque made with your business name on it, so the public know that you have taken part in pollinator conservation. You can boast your green credentials and your corporate social responsibility with Pollenize.
The £1500 Tier, we gift you this beautiful Pollenize Solitary Bee BnB, we come and install this at your chosen location/business and we collect important nesting information on the solitary bee. (They're sting-less and have no interest in humans unless disturbed).
All this talk of bee rewards, and no honey? I hear you ask WHY?
As much as we'd like to offer honey as a reward for a pledge, it isn't a feasible offer to give, and we can tell you why. As mentioned above, we are not keeping bees so we can produce honey, we are working with them to showcase the importance of pollinator conservation. With this in mind we have to put the strength and survival of the bees first, so this means leaving enough honey for them. However, if there is a surplus amount, we will be sure to give a jar to the patrons that support Pollenize. In time, we would love to know from our patrons if the honey tastes different according to the beehives it came from.
Thank you for taking the time to look at our crowdfunder, and we hope you will support us and the bees! Let's make Plymouth the first pollinator friendly city together.