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Help protect Australian native birds & bees
$255 Raised
5% of $5k goal
8 contributors
0 days left
Ended Jul 16, 2014
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 “As a citizen scientist — you have a unique opportunity to bring about a positive environmental and social change.”  
- Dr. P. Dyani

What the Issue Is?

Bees are one of those miracle creatures that keep the ‘circle of life’ circulating. Not only do they provide us with honey to put on our morning toast, wax to turn into soothing candles and royal jelly to cure our ailments, they also pollinate many of our crops.  

Put simply, for every one out of three mouthfuls of food you eat – you can thank the western honeybee.

“If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only
have four years left to live.” 
Maurice Maeterlinck, The Life of the Bee

Sadly, these hearty little guys’ colonies are declining internationally and in some countries, rapidly. These changes have been narrowed down to a number of factors; habitat loss - due to urbanisation, increase in pesticide use on agriculture, disease and climate change.

If these decreases continue, there may even be species extinction in some instances.  “The problem is serious, and poses a significant challenge that needs to be addressed to ensure the sustainability of our food production systems”, the White House.

Dr P. Dyani, Earthwatch scientist, is investigating how the impact of climate change and use of pesticides on apple farms have spiked a rapid decline in the butterfly and bee population in the Indian Himalayas, forcing farmers to pay high prices to “hire” bees to pollinate their apple crops.

Whilst this global issue has not reached Australian borders, we would be ignorant to think we are immune to it.

Honey Bee, credit P. Houghton

What we must do in Australia?

To ensure human-induced climate change, pesticides and disease do not wipe away our food providers, we must monitor, record and analyse their behaviour, habitats and populations.

What ClimateWatch is Doing?

Our ClimateWatch enables every Australian to help shape our country’s response to climate change through monitoring their local environment. As a ‘citizen scientist’, you have the opportunity to contribute to scientific research and provide data into how bees will be affected by future climate change - enabled through the ClimateWatch smartphone app.

The information recorded contributes to the national biodiversity data base, helping scientists from the Bureau of Meteorology and The University of Melbourne understand how rainfall and temperature changes are influencing bee populations.

At the moment, ClimateWatch is used by nine universities and over 40 different community groups across Australia. It has proven to be a great way to educate people about the plight of bees and other species, while engaging them in real scientific research.

Student using ClimateWatch app

Why we need your help?

We’d love to bring this exciting program into schools, to educate and inspire the future generation about the issues facing bees and so many of our important species. By supporting ClimateWatch in this campaign you will allow us to develop lesson plans that would connect ClimateWatch to the new National Science Curriculum. Bringing real science into classrooms will lead to valuable scientific outcomes, as well as a truly meaningful education experience.

Please donate today! Our children are worth it, the planet is worth it.

For more information check out the ClimateWatch website.

Stay informed - sign up to the ClimateWatch ENews.


Students from University of Technology in Sydney have said:

‘It was a great experience. It was part of my first year uni assignment and I had a lot of fun in the collection of data. I had no idea about citizen science before this exercise.’
‘Learnt a lot about data collecting and was great exploring the lovely gardens, such beautiful day to spend with friends while doing uni work and contributing! You guys are great!’
‘It was a fantastic thing to do, I really enjoyed being involved and felt like Ii was helping the environment’.

One teacher mentioned:

 ‘It was great…the students seem to have a greater knowledge and appreciation of our local environment’.

Sources/ Additional Reading:

- ClimateWatch:

- Earthwatch Expeditions: Butterflies and Bees in the Indian Himalayas:

- Time mag:

- ABC Science:

- Department of Primary Industries (all states). Here is NSW:

- ABC Rural:

- Potts, S.G. et al (2010) Global pollinator declines: trends, impacts and drivers. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. Vol 25 (6), p 345-353.

- The Christian Science Monitor:

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