The BEESandAPPLE project – a transnational, society-wide initiative
The European Parliament becomes the latest partner to join the project.
Protecting bees and creating new habitats for pollinators are two key objectives of the EU’s European Green Deal. Watch the video below.
Now that the European Parliament has become an official project partner, the BEESandAPPLE project is able to play an important role in the EU’s efforts to restore balance to our ecosystems.
Vice-President of the European Parliament Othmar Karas and originator of the BEESandAPPLE project Manfred Hohensinner signed a declaration of support at the House of the European Union in Vienna on 12 November 2021, which is fittingly also Austria’s National Apple Day. This partnership is the first and only one of its kind in Europe.
The EU has adopted a new strategy to strengthen biodiversity conservation as part of the European Green Deal. With ecosystems coming under increasing pressure, at least 30 per cent of Europe’s land mass and maritime areas are going to be converted into protected areas in order to restore balance in the natural world, which will in turn create new habitat for bees. The EU has been fighting the decline of the insect population for many years through the “EU Pollinators Initiative” and funding research to help improve the situation.
The BEESandAPPLE project was spearheaded by Frutura, a producer and the largest distributor of fruit and vegetables in Austria. It was launched in April 2021, with the specific goal of creating 1,200 hectares of new bee meadows within five years. The project is raising awareness by distributing free packets of seeds and harnessing the support of celebrity ambassadors such as Dominic Thiem and Sebastian Vettel, who are encouraging everyone to take part and do their bit.
It does not matter if you have a garden, a balcony or even a small windowsill – every little counts! It has been essential for the success of the project to involve the whole of society right from the outset, including schools, nursing homes, workshops for disabled people, municipal authorities, clubs and societies. This far-reaching approach has led to almost 500 hectares of new meadows being created within the first year.
The work carried out by organic farmers and resource-saving production methods are particularly important in helping to achieve the goals of the BEESandAPPLE project, which places sustainability at the heart of every activity. Agriculture plays a special role in measures that are taken to mitigate climate change. And, of course, the excellent flavour of locally produced fruit and vegetables is also an effective way to reduce food waste.
Vice President of the European Parliament
“The European Green Deal will be the biggest driver in the fight against climate change for decades to come. We also need initiatives at a national level to help us implement our strategy consistently. The BEESandAPPLE project shows how people can be involved in the changes that need to happen in a simple and relevant way, and how long-term ambitions can effectively complement concrete measures. That’s why the BEESandAPPLE project is the first initiative in Europe that the European Parliament has decided to partner with as part of the Green Deal.”
Owner of Frutura
“It is our duty to pass on a healthy planet to the next generations. To achieve this, we need to change mindsets across society. Our recent partnership with the European Parliament gives our initiative a European dimension. Bees do not observe national borders, so it is important that their conservation transcends borders too. I am pleased that we can play a part in the BEESandAPPLE project and support Europe’s path to greater sustainability.”
“I am aware that I am a role model for many people and that I can motivate my fans to think more deeply and even change their way of thinking. I am pleased to have the chance to use my position to support the BEESandAPPLE project. The European Parliament is now adding even more strength to the initiative. I am looking forward to being part of the project. If we all pull together, we can make the world a better place every day!”
“We need to be bold enough to tread new paths if we want to deal with future challenges. For me, it’s not just about enjoying the here and now; it’s also about taking responsibility and living sustainably. I support the BEESandAPPLE project because I strongly believe that change is possible if we really want it. We just need to get on and do it.”
“Bees give us an indication of how well the environment is doing, so the trend in recent years should be a warning sign for us. Organic farmers have been producing in harmony with nature again for some time now, but we need society to support us further. We all need to consider the environment over the long term – otherwise we will pay a heavy price.”
The partnership between the European Parliament and the BEESandAPPLE society-wide project aims to make people aware of the importance of the Green Deal and the importance of using nature’s resources mindfully through working together. Over the coming year, an organic BEESandAPPLE flower meadow is going to be cultivated at the European Parliament in Strasbourg to serve as a symbol of this.