Repopulating Spain with Iberian Bees: The Smart Green Initiative

Repopulating Spain with Iberian Bees: The Smart Green Initiative

The Spanish bee, or Apis mellifera iberica, is a subspecies of western honey bee native to the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands. It is a dark-colored bee with low swarming tendency and high vigor, and it adapts well to the region’s climatic and floral conditions.

Despite its somewhat nervous and aggressive behavior, which allows it to defend itself better from predators and parasites, this subspecies is endangered due to several threats. These include the introduction of other foreign breeds, habitat loss, pesticide use, and climate change. The Spanish bee, though, still plays a crucial role as one of the most important pollinators in the region.

Despite their tiny size and sometimes annoying presence, bees are essential for life and their disappearance would have irreparable consequences for diversity and food quality on the planet.

’47 Million Bees’ and the biologist Paola Vecino

’47 Million Bees’ is the story of biologist Paola Vecino and her work to preserve the native Iberian honey bee in Spain. Paola has spent her life studying and working with bees and now heads up the ‘Smart Green Bees’ project. Collaborating with bee keepers across the country, the project is set to reintroduce 47 million honey bees across 900 hives. The aim is to boost biodiversity through the power of these super pollinators.

Filmed and Directed by: David Warren
Produced by: Michael Jackson
Editors: David Warren & Craig Schwartz
Colourist: Craig Schwartz
Production Coordinator: Louise Miller
Featuring: Paola Vecino, Juan Molina Santiago & Jose Antonio
Production Company: Ambanja Films
Repopulating Spain with Iberian Bees: The Smart Green Initiative

Their value and the growing concern over their decline have led to initiatives aimed at not only guaranteeing their survival but also reinforcing their presence. One such attempt is the Smart Green Bees project, developed most recently in the Montes de Malaga and other locations in Spain.

Smart Green Bees Spain aims to recover the population of Iberian bees to achieve an exponential effect on all the flora of our country and thus promote the expansion and recovery of our ecosystems. The project’s goal is to reach 47 million bees

What is the smart green movement in Spain?

The Smart Green movement is a project that brings together people, companies, institutions and educational organizations to combat climate change through the regeneration of ecosystems. It is a project developed by the LG company, (yes the one that make the televisions!)

This project, which was initiated by LG Spain’s Smart Green Spain Movement in 2017, aims to recover the population of the Iberian bee (Apis melifera iberica). According to the company, the Iberian bee is the only endemic bee species on the peninsula, but its population is declining because it is not the most efficient bee in honey production, which reduces its economic attractiveness for Spanish beekeepers. Read more here: (Spanish)

Other projects by the same company
  • Smart Green Trees: Plants are the only technology capable of absorbing the excess CO2 from the atmosphere, which is why the Smart Green Movement set out to reforest 47 million trees per year in Spain, one for each inhabitant.
  • Smart Green Seas: With the objective of recovering the home of thousands of animal and plant species

Website: (in Spanish)

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