We all know that bees are facing troubles and everyone is trying their best to save bee population right now, which is nice. It’s even a lot nicer when government attempts to do the same, like in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
This city recently gave makeovers to 316 bus stops, outfitting them with “green roofs,” which are basically roofs that are covered with sedum flowers and other plants that act as an oasis for bees. Aside of helping the bees, these roofs also have other good effects.
The plants on the green roofs will help absorb rainwater, capture dust or pollutants from the air, and regulate temperatures. Plants in urban areas have other benefits as well, including reducing noise pollution, reducing stress, increasing biodiversity, beautifying the city, absorbing carbon, and improving air quality.
Utrecht don’t only add green roofs onto bus stops. The government also added bamboo benches and LED lights, which are much more efficient than fluorescent and incandescent lights. Also, in order to make things as eco friendly as possible, Utrecht’s municipal employees who keep maintenance of the bus stops travel from station to station using electric vehicles.
Should Utrecht citizens get inspired to install green roofs somewhere in their houses, the city encourages it to a point when citizens can apply for a subsidy to cover the costs of planting greenery on their roofs.
Bees hold a very important role on earth as pollinators and the key factor to successful food production for humans. According to the USDA, bee pollination assists in producing one out of every three bites of food we take in the US, so you know how important they are. Sadly, 42% of US bee colonies collapsed in 2015. Moreover, this decrease of population doesn’t only happen in the US.
Fortunately, people are getting more aware of this issue and over the past few years, there have been a few other local projects to protect bees around the world.
Dutch designer Matilde Boelhouwer recently invented self-sustaining artificial flowers, designed to feed insect pollinators including bees and butterflies. Boelhouwer said she aimed to eventually install the flowers around various cities. The flowers do not need maintenance, and that they’ll continue sustaining themselves for about 10 years.
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Refugio is a project that creates a closer relationship between cities (humans) and nature (bees). The project is conceived as a series of objects that provide refuge, water and food to different species of solitary bees. Bees that do not live in a hive, do not have a queen and therefore do not produce honey, most are not aggressive and many of them do not even have a sting. For a long time these species did not receive much attention, but recent studies show that they may be the most efficient and important pollinators. Project carried out with the support of FONCA. . . . #bees #pollinators #design #refugio #nature #solitarybees #tlatelolco #mexico #mexicocity #cdmx #ecosystem #foodsupply #support #sustainability #maliarts #huerto #gardening #orchard #sustainabledesign #whatdesigncando #action #ecofriendly #savethebees #beesarecool
In Mexico City, a firm called MaliArts designed Refugio, which is a series of homes for solitary bees that usually find refuge in soil and rocks. This shelter looks a bit more like a collection of bird houses than beehives.
One unit features a large, ceramic cone. Another uses a lip to capture water to drink. Perhaps the most visually striking bee house stacks different types of wood, and uses holes of various diameters, to serve as microapartments for various bees.
“The selection of materials also responds to this research, in the case of the shelter, different modules could be used by different species of bees, some species prefer soft woods while others seek refuge in the ground or in rocks,” says Cavillo from MaliArts. “We used pine wood without finishing and ceramics without enamel, trying to imitate what they could find in nature.”
Cavillo hasn’t only made a prototype for bee housing but also field guides that explain how it can be implemented, along with several species of plants, to create welcoming, healthy homes for bees. Working under a grant from Mexico’s government agency on culture, FONCA, the designer considers this work to be in the experimental phase, but he hopes to commercialize his houses in the future.
“We are very interested in being able to scale the project. The more bees the better!” said the designer
Ireland’s Clonmel has mapped itself, pinpointing areas that could act as refuges for pollinating insects to provide food and shelter. Bee population is something that this town is concerned of. The Tidy Towns Committee has worked with all industry sectors to highlight the issue and how the local council, businesses, home-owners, and schools could get involved.
This plan isn’t exactly new since it was launched in 2015. Until now, it aims to reverse the decline in the bee population by working with communities, businesses, parks, schools and farms to make an Ireland where pollinators can survive and thrive. There has been a lot of progress, but challenges are still around.
Dr Úna Fitzpatrick, reflecting on the mid-term review of the plan last year, said rare bees are disappearing through habitat loss. Common species are struggling. because there isn’t enough food for them across the landscape.
“Pollinators need us to move away from seeing the landscape as purely a human space that should be kept neat and tidy. It’s not about letting things go wild, but we do need to let nature back in. or we risk losing its vital. free services,” said Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick’s department is setting up a climate action programme. Other than that, Annual funding for county biodiversity actions is being doubled to €1m by 2021, an Irish Business and Biodiversity Platform is to be set up, and funding to tackle invasive species is also to be doubled.
Moreover, legislation to create a biodiversity duty on public and local authorities is to be introduced, and the surveillance, detection, and prosecution of wildlife crime is to be improved.
If you care about bees, you don’t need to come up with something innovative. Simply utilize your garden at home to be bee shelters. You can plant flowers that will attract bees, such as alyssum, echinacea, geranium, and clover, preferably in bright colors like blue, purple, and yellow. Also, stop weeding or don’t do it too often. As explained by the New York Bee Sanctuary, dandelions and other weeds are great food sources for bees.