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Project for the protection of pollinators




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According to the report "Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production" by IPBES (UN intergovernmental platform for biodiversity, founded in 2021) 16% of wild pollinating insects worldwide are at risk of extinction, in particular 40% of species bees and butterflies due to climate change, habitat loss, pesticides, pathogens, pollution and invasive species.
But it is from the 40,000 different species of pollinating insects that depend 90% of wild flowers and 75% of food production as well as insect pollination is directly responsible for between 5 and 8% of the volume of agricultural production. Just In Europe, for example, 4,000 agricultural varieties depend on them.
Pollinators, therefore, are one of the biological indicators of the quality of the environment and currently represent one of the most important ecological emergencies.
Thanks to the "BEE ZOOM" project, the ZOOM Foundation continues what the Park started in 2021 with the creation of an area dedicated to pollinators to inform visitors about the threats that these species are facing and bring them closer, with educational and experiential activities, to a fascinating and indispensable microworld, but still little known today.
A mission that will be pursued, from today, thanks to numerous activities studying pollinators and their habits, with the aim of devising and developing solutions that can safeguard the species and, consequently, the entire ecosystem.

Two places have been chosen for the research:

● the Piedmont area: an area of 14 thousand square meters of the Biopark Zoom has been used as a research station for the study of local communities of pollinating insects to assess their state of health and any environmental contamination they come into contact with in the area of study, their relationship with the present flora and soil conditions .

● Africa, where thanks to the "Botswana Beekeeping Project" the ZOOM Foundation promotes beekeeping in local communities as an alternative source of income to livestock breeding and as a supplementary food source honey and the other products of the hive.


The census in the area of the main groups of wild pollinators (Apoidea, Lepidoptera and Diptera hoverflies) and of the existing botanical species will make it possible to understand the best strategies to ensure the survival of rare, threatened or protected species, both plants and pollinating insects, since strictly interdependent. The aim is to obtain data to find solutions to favor the establishment of stable populations of these insects responsible for the precious pollination service and to develop sustainable management solutions for grassland areas.
Biomonitoring, on the other hand, can provide important information on the health status of a given environment, both as regards bees, thanks to the participation of BeeNet , and as regards butterflies, thanks to the participation in the European monitoring network Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (eBMS).

The national BeeNet project is financed by Mipaaf through CREA and is in its second edition. About 300 stations are active throughout Italy. The monitoring station is composed of 5 hives useful for evaluating environmental pollution and any pesticide residues through the analysis of the hive matrices, Aspromiele for years has been engaged in environmental biomonitoring with bees, investigating and deepening the theme through the transversal observation of the phenomena and factors that create problems for bees and consequently for wild pollinators.
Through the European eBMS monitoring it is possible to retrieve data and percentages useful for carrying out a first census of the area, so far never surveyed: a species of protected native butterfly, included in the red list, has also been identified, the Lycaena dispar.


  • Qualitative and quantitative monitoring and census of the main categories of pollinators in the surroundings of the ZOOM bioparkin collaboration with the University of Turin – Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology:  the monitoring of pollinators in order to protect them, is as indicated at European level, through the EU Pollinators Initiative campaign and at Italian level through the Ministry's directives implemented in National Parks and the National Action Plan (PAN) for the sustainable use of products phytosanitary. To follow these guidelines, in 2022,  the Zoom Foundation  has implemented the pollinator census that began in 2021 within a dedicated area of 14,000 m2,  becoming part of the national research project  Butterfly Monitoring Scheme Italy (ITBMS -, and consequently  in the largest continental-scale monitoring network, called the European Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (eBMS).
    During the surveys carried out along the monitoring transect, the flowering plant species visited by pollinating insects were noted to create a detailed database.

  • Environmental biomonitoring through the use of bees and the analysis of their products: 

    • They were positioned  5 hives to evaluate environmental pollution and any residues of pesticides and other pollutants, investigating the phenomena and factors that create problems for bees and consequently for wild pollinators. 

    • In collaboration with the department of drug science and technology /DSTF-UNITO), during 2022 several samples of honey produced by Zoom's hives were collected, to analyze the different chemical-physical parameters, heavy metals and microplastics, in order to  ; compare them with the parameters of other honey samples produced by artisan beekeepers from Piedmont (these analyzes highlighted interesting results which are expected to be further investigated in 2023)

  • Plowing and sowing of selected local floral species,to implement the development of honey and support bees in months of great drought and vegetation scarcity, and to collect data (before and after sowing) on the impact that the redevelopment of an area has on the health conditions of the various pollinators.  ; The sowing of ad hoc selected and flowering species to scale throughout 2022,  it also allowed the production of almost 30 kg of honey.


  • Continuation of monitoring of the main categories of pollinatorsand data collection after sowing new specific plant essences

  • Continuation of environmental biomonitoring through the use of bees and the analysis of their products and processing of data collected in 2022

  • Planting of local plant species in order to guarantee  the arrival, establishment and permanence of the main pollinators, useful for their ecosystem services  and the consequent ecological restoration (it is important to underline that the research area has never been surveyed to date and is highly degraded due to agricultural activities).

  • Testing of technological equipment for the passive monitoring of pollinators in collaboration with the Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology - University of Turin and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Applied Sciences of Hochscule Niederrhein (Germany)


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The BEEKEEPING AND BEE-FENCING PROJECT IN BOTSWANA project was born from the collaboration with the People and Wildlife Trust (PWT) and Leopard Ecology & Conservation which, for over 20 years, have been working with the Kaudwane community, promoting the long-term survival of the populations of wild animals, conservation and education of local populations.
Beekeeping thus becomes the subject of numerous activities including the promotion of training courses on bee breeding, the encouragement of the sustainable "exploitation" of natural resources to differentiate sources of income and improve the livelihood of local communities and use as social rehabilitation work.

Not only, in fact, the work with managed bees could represent an alternative to the classic livestock breeding or agriculture, but it could also go to enhance the already existing socio-educational and / or social welfare services, working on the development of skills and abilities. of people to promote their social and work inclusion. Professional beekeeping education could then promote economic opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship for women and people in rural areas.
Finally, the products of the hive can be useful to local populations to supplement their diet . 
The second phase of the project will see the experimentation of Bee Hives Fences (fences formed by hives joined together by iron cables, already used in other areas of the world, to protect crops, reservoirs and specific trees of interest to the community and wildlife, increasingly threatened and in conflict with livestock.


  • In the first months of 2022, the local beneficiaries of the beekeeping training were identified with the support of the Beekeeping Office of Molepolole in Kaudwane (most of the people involved were women, giving further social value to the project), and they were purchase the hives, the material and the equipment needed to leave.

  • Parallel to the start of the beekeeping activities, a search for contacts was carried out in local institutions to increase the activities which in November 2022 concluded with the support of the FAO for the project, which donated additional hives and provided extra materials and identified a local supervisor trained by us in the previous months. The pilot project also received interest from the University of Agriculture and Natural Resources  of Botswana, with which a collaboration has been activated, which will contribute to the  of scientific research, to analyze the products of the hives and define planting and redevelopment actions of the area


  • Continuation of the beekeeping project

  •  Launch of a scientific research, biomonitoring and requalification project in the area,in order to determine and implement the productivity and health of bee colonies and thus develop quality criteria for the honey produced. 
    It is expected:

    • census of the areas and sales channels of the honey that will be produced and collaboration with the local beekeepers of the capital 

    • implementation of training on the correct management of hives and the correct management of the surrounding environment. 

    • collaboration with livestock farmers (e.g. providing them with hives, beekeeping courses, honey... etc.) to involve them in the project in exchange for areas left in the wild


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Donations are always open. You can donate by through transfer, by donating your 5xmille, during the purchase process of a biopark ticket or by purchasing one of the products dedicated to the Foundation that can be found in the ZOOM shop

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