To celebrate the Earth Day, Google releases an interactive Doodle experience in which users can guide bees to pollinate flowers while learning fun facts about bees and their importance to sustaining the Earth.
Bees are an important part of our ecosystem. According to Guillermo Fernandez, Founder and Executive Director of The Honeybee Conservancy, “One in three bites of food we eat and are vital to healthy ecology. There are 20,000 species of bees around the world who do this essential work. In North America alone, currently 1 in 4 of the 4,000 native bee species are at risk of extinction. On a larger scale, the world’s survival depends on theirs.”
Today’s Doodle also reminds us all of how small actions performed by individuals everywhere add up to big results. And while beekeeping may be not be for everyone, there are so many easy ways to help save bees, even while social distancing in today’s world:
1. Support your local beekeeper. When purchasing honey and beeswax products, choose locally-made options to invest in local beekeepers, who sustainably raise bees and bolster the community.
2. Donate time or funds to local environmental groups. Bees are part of a complex ecosystem, and contributions to organizations that support any conservation effort will help strengthen the environment.
3. Make safe havens for native bees. Most native bees have a solitary lifestyle: 30% live in holes inside trees, and 70% live underground. Give them shelter by providing exposed, undisturbed soil or nesting boxes that you can buy or make yourself.
4. Create a bee bath. Fill a shallow bird bath or bowl with clean water, and arrange stones inside so that they poke out of the water. Bees will land on the stones to drink on breaks from foraging and pollinating.
5. Plant a pollinator garden. Diversify sources of bee nutrition while beautifying spaces with pollinator-friendly plants. Make a garden in spaces ranging from window boxes to full yards, and consider using a mix of multi-season blooms to provide year-round sustenance.
Earth Day Doodle Team Q&A
Today’s Doodle art was led by Doodler Gerben Steenks, with engineering by Doodlers Jacob Howcroft & Stephanie Gu.
Below, they shares some thoughts on the making of the Doodle:
Q: What was your approach for this Doodle?
A: The most fun challenge for this Doodle was to generate an infinite world. The player can keep pollinating forever, so we needed to create an environment that was randomly generated, but still felt natural.
Q: What was a technical hurdle you ran into, and how did you resolve it?
A: Since the game goes on as long as you want it to, you can end seeing thousands of flowers, trees, and bushes. Optimizing our code to make sure we could include all this content was definitely challenging!
Q: What do you hope people will take away from this Doodle?
A: We hope people understand the importance of bees to the earth and to humanity. For those who want to take action, anyone can have a positive impact by growing pollen-producing plants!