‘Plan bee’ for cities: new report sows seeds for insect-friendly urban areas

A study has revealed the value of cities for pollinators and highlights how to attract bees and other insects to urban locations

However creating sanctuaries in our cities isnt simply useful for human health. New research study released by the clinical journal Plos One, suggests that urban gardens, parks and roadside brinks play an important function in enhancing bee and other pollinator numbers thanks to their diversity of flowering plants and lack of pesticides.

It is well recorded that access to forests, gardens and parks is good for our mental health. One study, by Denmarks University of Aarhus, discovered that children who matured without routine access to green areas were up to 55 per cent more likely to establish anxiety and other psychiatric conditions than those who grow up with it.

The report– entitled, A Plan Bee for Cities– identified city community gardens as particularly helpful to pests due to the variety of seasonal flowers. Scientists found that pollinator numbers in the urban gardens they studied were equivalent to rural websites they looked at– and significantly greater than other green areas such as parks.

” We recommend … reducing the level of management interventions, as spontaneous plants and more natural locations offer opportunities for numerous insect habitats,” said the report. “Preservation of even small-scale unintended locations need to be incorporated into preparing assistance to promote regional biodiversity, especially for solitary wild bees and syrphids.”

” The concept of the task is to truly empower individuals to learn the skills to do their own gardening: whether thats just on a windows sill, or terrace, on a rooftop,” stated nursery manager Nemone Mercer. “You can basically make a garden anywhere.”

One example of a city oasis is Core Landscapes Community Garden in east London, where flowerbeds are stuffed with long-blooming plants such as lavender, poppies, roses and foxgloves to motivate bees. As being a sanctuary for wildlife, the garden is likewise a center for neighborhood engagement.

Such efforts can assist bring in bees and other insects, but sometimes not doing anything is simply as efficient. To that end, the reports authors suggest letting specific locations in parks and gardens rewild themselves.

Proving Mercers point is the Dutch city of Utrecht, which has turned the roofs of bus stops into gardens for pollinators. At the other end of the spectrum, on the other hand, is Paris, which this summertime opened what will be the worlds biggest urban farm.

” No location is too small to make a contribution,” stated Benjamin Daniels, the papers lead researcher. “We have found that even little planted patches are being colonised by pollinators.”

The city of Utrecht has actually turned bus stop roofings into bee gardens. Image: Gemeente Utrecht

How to draw in bees to urban locations

These little changes to terraces, backyards, allocations and gardens can help benefit bees and other pollinators.

1. Adopt a hands-off method

Mowing gardens less indicates a variety of native wildflowers– such as daisies, dandelions, and white clover– have the possibility to bloom. This supplies much-needed nectar and pollen for bees, butterflies and other bugs.

2. Believe small, along with big

Utilizing even the tiniest areas such as window boxes, hanging planters and container growing can bring significant benefits. Even the tiniest micro-habitat can rapidly end up being a food source or nesting site for pollinators– especially wild bees and hoverflies.

3. Vary

Planting a variety of native flowers will be especially attractive to pollinators. Ensuring that something is flowering in each season will indicate theres a constant food source for bees, hoverflies and other bugs.

4. Go organic

Preventing using neonicotinoids and other pesticides is essential; these chemicals present a hazardous hazard to pollinators and other wildlife.

5. Produce bee hotels

Organizing rocks and wood in the garden creates shelter for bugs, and a pond or other water source– however little– can also assist to boost environment services in urban locations.

Main image: Megan Markham

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