Bring Back Bees – gift your local farmers a bee box by purchasing NFTs.
Dinesh Kshatriyan is a research scholar at IIT-Madras and an entrepreneur. He is best known for being the first person in India to have a wedding reception in the Metaverse. He now has a new claim to fame. His project, Bring Back Bees (BBB), uses the money from NFTs for an unusual cause: bee farming in the Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Punjab.
As a biker, Dinesh has been to hill stations where people destroy beehives and kill bees just to get their honey, so he decided to do something about it. After looking into bee farming, or apiculture, he found a way to keep the ‘ecosystem in balance.’
Dinesh says, quoting a popular quote often attributed to Albert Einstein, ‘Without the bee, the human race would end in four years.’ Even though it’s not clear how it relates to Einstein, the claim is mostly true. A report from the United Nations Environment Programme says that over 70 of the 100 crop species that provide 90% of the world’s food are pollinated by bees.
‘We want people to learn about beekeeping. I started to learn more about it. Dinesh says, ‘I saw that the Indian government was spending a lot of money to teach people about beekeeping because they have a goal to reach by 2030.’ ‘I asked myself, ‘Why can’t we close that gap?’
This idea led him to start India’s first NFT based on beekeeping. Dinesh say’We made a total of 33 NFTs and have sold 28 of them since July 1.’ He expects to sell the rest by the end of the week. They cost 0.25 BNB each and can be bought on WazirX. Four different artists made them. By market capitalization, BNB, also known as Binance coin, is one of the biggest cryptocurrencies in the world. It is made by the Binance exchange and costs ₹18870.31 as of July 7.
‘Right now, we will buy a bee box for each NFT we sell and give it to a farmer for free. We’ll teach that farmer about beekeeping and keep an eye on what they do. We are also trying to build an e-commerce website to help farmers sell their honey and other products, says Dinesh.
The project uses Indian bees because they do better in the area than other bees that can be raised. Dinesh decided to start BBB in the village of Gearatti, Tamil Nadu, which is where his wife is from. The people there are already open to the idea of bee farming and are willing to give space and help for the project.
This project is called ‘The Apiary’ by BBB, which hopes that it will become a brand known all over India after its launch. The team is in talks with the Apiculture Department at Anna University about starting work in Madurai. They also want to expand to Gujarat and Punjab, which have a long history of beekeeping.
‘We plan to build this ecosystem in a way that doesn’t have a central point so that the government will know how many beehives have been started and how many places this affects. ‘As young people, we want to do our part for society in this way,’ says Dinesh.
Dinesh hopes that if the project is in the news and gets a lot of attention, more farmers will contact BBB directly. ‘We’ll give them our phone number and a link to our website. If they are ready to start bee farming, we will go there right away and put it in place. We’ll also work with NGOs that have been doing this for a long time,’ he says.
Even though BBB just started, people have been positive about it. Dinesh says, ‘By July 10, we’ll have set up 20 bee boxes, and by July 20, we’ll have set up 13 more boxes in Gummidipoondi.’