May 30, 2018
More than 70% of all flowering plants depend on insects for pollination. Especially bees provide an important service to plants and consequently to humans: they ensure the reproduction of the plants and guarantee a great diversity of fruit. In return, the bees receive pollen and nectar, their main sources of carbohydrates and proteins that keep their immunity system healthy.
Once the flowering season is over, the bees are exposed to food scarcity because cultivated and peripheral flowering fields that normally provide them with pollen and nectar in the off season have become rare. Especially in rural areas, the loss of nutrition has posed a problem to the bees and has caused a steady decline in the bee population over the last few years.
The „Coup d’Pousse“ (loosely translated: a push for the flowers) platform wants to prevent food shortage with the sowing of pollen-bearing flowers on agricultural land. The Farmers provide a minimum of 0,5 hectares of land and accept the responsibility for tending the flower fields at least two years. The flower seeds that are distributed within the project have been tested by the Bees Biodiversity Network (RBA) in France and are sold by local partners.
In order to meet the needs of various pollinators and to arrange for a continuous distribution of high quality pollen and nectar throughout the year, the seeds are put together into different mixtures. Each mixture consists of either 5-10 or over 15 flower species that supply diversified nutrition in the off-season from May until June or from April until August. Additionally, another intercropping mixture provide pollen from September until October, before the onset of winter.
The „Coup d’Pousse“ platform has been developed to foster the connection between the parties and benefit from their participation in the project: Farmers can make their agricultural land available for the sowing of flowers, beekeepers have the possibility to supply their bees with nutrition resources and donors provide the financial aid for the purchase and distribution of the seeds – with only ten euros 500m2 can be planted with seeds.
To participate in the program, interested parties can register online. The “Coup d’Pousse” website works like a social network and allows an easy planning and execution of the program. „Coup d’Pousse“ attempts to bring together beehives and farms near the donor and, through an interactive map, donors can track their contribution to see which farms and beehives benefit from it.
As BASF is strongly committed to a sustainable agriculture, biodiversity is also an important issue for the company. “Biodiversity is essential to the agricultural ecosystem and especially for the well-being of the bees. BASF collaborated with the RBA to support their „Coup d’Pousse“ program and preserve the biodiversity for the bees,” said Sandrine Leblond, responsible for BASF’s engagement in the preservation of biodiversity in rural areas. With its participation in the project, BASF takes on different functions: “We, as a voluntary company, funded the planting of approximately 65 hectares with wild flowers and helped with the project organization and planning for our farming parters”, explains Leblond. To support the program even further, BASF promotes the program within its farmers’ network to ensure a long-term improvement of the bees’ well-being.