The worldwide bee colony collapse has been a concerning issue for a few years now but has only recently gained the wide-reaching attention it needs, to implement solutions and protect the remaining bees. Scientists claim that the occurrence is not as mysterious as it seems and have taken the liberty of identifying several interrelated factors that are contributing to this rapid loss.
What’s Killing the Bees?
As expected, humans are largely responsible for two of the prime contributing factors: pesticides and habitat loss, which limit the diversified food sources that bees need to stay healthy and survive. Other factors include drought, global warming, pollution, and nutrition deficits. In order to significantly reverse this bee decline, solutions such as correcting or banning destructive agricultural habits and restricting insensitive urban development that negatively impact pollinator-friendly habitats, should be promptly implemented. These solutions are a strong recompensing start, to not only protect, but restore the world’s population of bees. Although there are a few factors that are beyond one’s control, communities should still do their part and make every effort to save the bees. Need some inspiration? Keep reading!
Inspo for Bee-friendly Solutions!
The city of Utrecht in the Netherlands, acts as an inspiring example of the kind of initiative and gambits that should be put into action, when concerning matters such as this one. In 2019, Utrecht responded to the alarmingly declining rates of bees by implementing a resourceful solution – where they turned 316 bus stops into bee stops. With nearly 358 bee species living in the Netherlands, more than half of which are endangered, this city turned the roof of their bus stops into bee-friendly havens filled with flowering plants. They did this with the intention of supporting pollinating populations, specifically honeybees and bumblebees.
This year, the city of Leicester in the United Kingdom, implemented a similar, city-wide initiative, where they eventually hope to turn all their bus stops into green roof pollinator gardens. With nearly 30 bus stops already installed, the people of Leicester have started to fondly refer to these new installations as the Bee Bus Stops.
(Credits: Yanko Design)
Comparable to the bee stops in Utrecht, the Leicester pollinator gardens are found on the roof of their bus stops, which are filled with fresh grass, a variety of wildflowers and sedum plants – an apparent favourite among pollinating insects whose numbers have declined in recent years. However, Leicester has taken their bee stops one step further by ensuring that the roofs will also be solar powered, making use of the renewable energy source. The officials of Utrecht are planning to accomplish this within the next few years as well. This mix of green living roofs and solar power is ambitious and a revolutionary step in the right direction to bettering the planet and practising resourcefulness.
These living roofs can absorb rainwater and capture particulates in the air, improving air quality. They also positively contribute to urban biodiversity and clime resilience and help reduce the urban heat island effect. The hope is that these gardens can act as sanctuaries and attract not just bees but other pollinators such as butterflies and beetles, encouraging pollination.
Utrecht and Leicester serve as inspirational cities that have taken smart steps and are leading the way toward a more sustainable and resourceful future. It is epoch-making for other cities around the world to follow suit and join the fight! Not only will it save vital creatures and encourage making use of renewable resources, but it will also add lush greenery, essentially giving street furniture an ingenious facelift.