The honeybee is only one of 350 species of bees that live in the Netherlands. Wild bees (including bumblebees and solitary bees) are part of an enormous diversity of pollinators. Bees thrive not only in natural surroundings, but also in cities. However, they sometimes need help. Wild bees are also affected by human activities that lead to habitat degradation. But even in the city, solutions for this problem can be found.
Industrial estates for bees
A literature review conducted in 2011 showed that the urban and industrial environment provides space for wild bees become established and thrive (Cornelissen, 2012). Another conclusion was that the conditions for wild bees around the city are probably better than in intensively farmed agricultural landscapes. This can be explained by two aspects: the presence of small-scale structures and active local development and management.
Bijen@wur works together with societal partners (including Gasunie) to give shape to the research on urban bees. The central research question is the following: ‘What is the potential of business and/or industrial estates and economic infrastructure as a habitat for wild bees?’
Background information (in Dutch)
- Cornelissen, A.C.M. (2012) Bijen in en rond de stad: een literatuurstudie. Entomologische Berichten 72 (1-2). - p. 120 – 124.
- Gasunie en Wageningen helpen bijen (2012) Radioverslag Jeroen Schutijser.
Publications of third parties
- Banaszak-Cibicka et al (2012) Wild bees along an urban gradient: winners and losers. J. Insect Conserv.
- Bates et al (2011) Changing Bee and Hoverfly Pollinator Assemblages along an Urban-Rural Gradient. PLOS one.