Honey Bee on Pea flower.
Honey Bee on Pea flower.

You can use your phone to join global campaign to save bees

ARMED with a smartphone and an eye for detail, you could help save the planet during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

And while that sounds like the opening line to a superhero movie, there is a very practical way to get your housemates, kids or family members out and about in the garden and saving the world.

Starting last Friday, anyone with a smartphone can download the World Bee Count app.

Then, simply go outside (honouring all social-distancing requirements, of course) and start taking pictures of pollinators.

On May 20, every picture taken and every bee counted will culminate in a World Bee Day reveal of the Global Pollinator Map the world created together, which will then illustrate the quantity, density and diversity of pollinators.

The World Bee Count is a project organised by Hive Tracks and Appalachian State University's Center for Analytics Research and Education (CARE) and co-sponsored by Flow Hive.

"We aim to inspire people with the education piece, so they can maybe think 'these pollinators are doing such an incredible job in my garden, perhaps I shouldn't spray with insecticides'," said Flow Hive CEO Cedar Anderson.

"And if we get enough participants, we might even find new species - pollinators that haven't been recorded yet.

"We need to know more about pollinators because they're so incredibly important to our natural system.

"If we can map where they are, perhaps we can make better decisions about what's important and keep the whole system going."

Mr Anderson, a former Greenpeace worker, used to fly paragliders over jungles to track illegal burning before he became a business owner and dad.

Hive Tracks CEO, James Wilkes, said they were trying to build awareness of the critical role pollinators play in the world, and that those "bugs" we pretty much ignore - or run from - every day are essential to our survival.

"The project is designed to be as simple as possible - just grab your phone, download the free app and snap a photo," he said.

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