1) Sustainability Area: Civic Engagement
Problem: The Japanese honey industry is declining due to deforestation and the increasing use of pesticides such as neonicotinoids in rice farming. While other countries are also experiencing colony collapse disorder*, Japan is particularly vulnerable to the advanced age of its farmers and a decline in beekeepers. As honey bee takes vital function of pollination in ecosystem, decline in honey bee population is a problem of whole nature in Japan.
2) Technology and Deployment
- This is not a type of cutting edge technology, but rather, a creative idea and activity named “The Ginza Honey Bee Project” based on civic idea how to cope with ecological problem by applying existing expertise and civic engagement in the middle of city and also stimulate local economy.
- A group of community members in Ginza, a world-famous district for its luxury shopping and dining in Tokyo, and volunteers set out to connect with nature by establishing a rooftop beehive under instruction of beekeeper experts
- The rooftop honeybee travels as far as two kilometers to collect nectar taking advantage of the flowers in residential Gardens parks and along sidewalks
- The produced honey is sold in retail stores in Ginza district with its own brand
- Since its initial harvest of 150 kilograms in 2006, the project has expanded its operation and increased its honey output to over one metric ton
Source: The Ginza Honey Bee Project (YouTube, 4min 13sec)
- City citizen/community
- Local retail business
- Professional honey beekeepers
- Farmers in close neighborhood