Our recently graduated student Lumi Amélie-Antoinette Drozzin is a business student and a beekeeper. She is working as an assistant at The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, and believes that the agricultural sector could be on the cusp of pioneering a new, innovative approach. By introducing concrete measures in adopting beekeeping on a broad scale to support food production, the agricultural industry could boost food output, reduce the use of pesticides, and, most importantly, increase revenue for farmers. Concrete steps for doing this were things she explored in her bachelor’s thesis.
“At first, I wanted to find out whether the value of bee-pollinated crops had increased in value,” Lumi said. “However, after initial feedback on my topic, I felt I could do something more ambitious.” She began her bachelor’s studies at EBS in Business Administration with a focus on marketing communications. In her free time, she had become increasingly interested in pollinators and their role in nature and food production. Seeing this as an industry that is not going anywhere, she decided to explore it further in her thesis, specifically, how it can be more competitive and profitable.
“Existing research had already shown the market value of bee-pollinated crops in food production,” Lumi says. “I discovered that over the past decade, these crops, including bilberries and soybean, had increased in market value in Finland. I then set out to explore whether honey bee pollination could play an even more important role in these crops’ lifecycles.”
Lumi researched examples from around the world. The key takeaway of her thesis was that a robust ecosystem around it supports effective honey bee pollination. That means that natural pollinators are at least equally important in commercial pollination crops. Moreover, the biodiverse strategies used in different locations around the world would be easy to implement. “The next step for utilizing my research would be to develop business models to make commercial beekeeping an important part of food production,” She said.
Lumi chose a timely topic for what is being discussed globally and increasingly on a local level in Finland. This summer, the Finnish Broadcasting Company, YLE, launched a campaign to raise awareness of natural and domesticated pollinators. Lumi lobbied for the topic to be taken up further on Sitra’s channels. She expanded her thesis’s conclusions in a blog post for the company website, which was shared on social media with the YLE campaign hashtags. The story went viral, quickly becoming one of Sitra’s most engaging and shared social media posts. Even YLE picked it up, creating a quiz based on the blog post. “I was flattered with the attention the story gained,” Lumi said. “It showed me that I am on the right track, and I should continue this work during my master’s studies.”
Lumi has now started her master’s degree at EBS. Her International Business Administration program gives her the chance to expand upon her knowledge in business, laying the groundwork for writing her thesis on the business models her bachelor’s thesis could not elaborate on just yet. She said she is continuously curious about nature biodiversity and ecosystem services and is looking at future careers in these fields.
“As an industry expert, I am aiming for leadership positions in an organization that can truly make a difference,” she said. “After all, I believe that is what my education is best preparing me for.”
You can access her bachelor's thesis here.