Bees with backpacks - The launch of the Global Initiative for Honey bee Health

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)


Honey bees are responsible for one third of the food we eat through pollination – a service worth hundreds of millions of dollars to agriculture, annually. But across the globe, bee populations are crashing and the causes are not understood. A small research group based at CSIRO in Hobart, Tasmania developed micro-sensing technology to monitor bee behaviour and potential threats. A comprehensive communication plan was designed to generate Australian media coverage in order to increase awareness of the platform technology and generate new leads for research, funding and business development. The aim was to engage a diverse audience including government, investors, farmers, the general public, potential partners and end users. The campaign began with high quality visual assets to explain ‘swarm sensing’: the fitting of live bees with microsensors. CSIRO then launched the Global Initiative for Honey bee Health (GIHH). By promoting GIHH, positioning itself as a research leader and calling for global action in support CSIRO’s strategy exceeded all targets and generated 40+ collaboration enquiries from researchers, beekeepers and funders from 15 countries across six continents.

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