A new type of paper giving bees a boost as they travel through towns and cities has been released by activists in Poland.
Infused with a special mixture of glucose and honey plant seeds, the paper could give bees a new source of food when the insects are unable to find enough flowers.
The non-sticky paper is covered in a water-based UV paint, which is applied in special patterns to make bees believe they’re looking at a meadow full of pollen.
City Bees, the charity behind the project, wants to see the biodegradable paper made into coffee cup sleeves, paper bags and car park tickets. It says the paper could stop bees from dying of exhaustion as they cross vast urban spaces, unable to find food.
Rapid urbanisation, as well as the extensive use of pesticides, has caused bee numbers across Europe to fall by more than half in recent years — despite the insects being partly responsible for keeping 90 percent of all wild plants in existence.
The paper is now ready for mass production, backed by the Warsaw branch of Saatchi & Saatchi and Manufaktura Papieru Czerpanego w Kobyłce.
“We’ve managed to develop and produce what is probably the first paper nature would not only like you to use, but maybe even to drop,” say Tomasz Bujok and Anna Gadecka, senior creatives on the project. “We know our innovation won’t solve the worldwide problem of the declining bee population by itself, but we hope we’ll at least make people realise how important bees are to us.”