Apiary Genesis building_chris parkes
Researcher Professor Katharine Willis and Pollenize CIC have been collaborating on smart beehives as part of the Green Minds Project, an initiative workingto improve the quality and condition of green and blue infrastructure and enhance people’s interaction in these spaces.
Part of Professor Willis’ work has focussed on revealing and valuing hidden nature through using innovative technologies such as IoT, AR and VR. The Pollenize AI Camera waggle dance project supported by the South West Creative Technology Network, is enabling members of the public and researchers to understand where bees are foraging in Plymouth, and by fitting beehives with smart IoT sensors, data on each beehive’s health status can be collected, while also helping to educate the public about the survival of pollinators.
Royal William Yard Apiary site
Theatre Royal Apiary site
National Marine Aquarium Apiary site

"With Professor Willis' research in mind, we found at Pollenize that the world of conservation and beekeeping are often hidden worlds in the urban environment. In our particular situation, our beehives are often on top of roofs, hidden gardens, or forgotten unused spaces. We wanted to create the most efficient way of revealing this world to the public, engaging communities with nature and giving them a tangible way to be involved in fighting our climate crisis. 

The conclusion was interactive signage, encouraging the public to scan the QR code on the sign and tune into a live stream of the beehive internals. The live stream widget would also link the public to our shop where they can purchase our specially formulated seed recipe designed to help all pollinators, whilst doubling up as a citizen science project where people can log their sowing coordinates onto our map." Pollenize CIC

Scan instructions
Apiary camera
Inside apiary

The trail will connect ten sites across Plymouth where a network of community-funded research apiaries are stocked with European Dark Honey Bees. The sites include the University of Plymouth, The Box, Plymouth Argyle Football Club, Poole Farm, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Marine Biological Association, National Marine Association, Royal William Yard, and Millfields Trust.

Find out more about the Beehive Network.

Bee Apiary
Genesis Apiary

Image credit: Chris Parkes

Pollenize CIC

Pollenize Community Interest Company (CIC) is a pollinator conservation project utilising the power of community beekeeping, product design, citizen science, IoT sensors, big data and environmental DNA techniques to combat pollinator decline. 

Based in Plymouth, Pollenize looks to tackle the challenges raised from recent studies from around the globe indicating a decline in pollinator and insect abundance, diversity, distribution and biomass. 



Creative Associates

The Sustainable Earth Institute's Creative Associates projects aim to explore novel and innovative ways of communicating research and develop a portfolio of case studies of the different creative approaches possible.

Find out more about the initiatives
Patient at Krygyz Research Institute of Balneology and
Recovery Treatment. Interestingly, it doesn’t take much to move people from the
formal expressions in portraits into a much warmer mood. Image: Carey Marks

Image: Carey Marks/Creative Associates