Community Talks! Vol. 1, ep. 23.
One of my plans for the vacation this year is to build a hotel for the solitary bees and the other pollinating insects that we are so dependent on to get vegetables and fruit. The bees are not only important for the food production but also for biodiversity.
Pollination is the transfer of pollen (male gemmates) between the male and the female parts of the flowers to enable plants to reproduce. There are many animals helping with the pollination.
The most important pollinators, the bees, (there are actually 2000 different wild species of bees in Europe alone!), are declining a lot, both the domesticized European honeybee and the wild species. The wild bee species are also outcompeted by the honeybees. In Europe as well as in other parts of the world beekeepers has noticed a significant decline in the populations for at least the last 10-15 years.
As an example, close to home, I noticed A few days ago that my zucchinis on my plants in the garden, that had been looking very nice, suddenly was rotting away instead of growing. I learnt that this was since they had not gotten pollinated! Every zucchini plant has both male and female flowers and to get pollinated they need help from insects. Apparently, I do not have enough pollinating insects in the garden, so I needed to help them along manually! Hopefully the zucchinis will grow now!
There is a lot of research ongoing to find out what is actually affecting the bees and what to do to be able to help them. Some of which is going on in Lund University close to Malmö. Last year I had the opportunity to tag along as a “research assistant” helping a researcher to collect bee pollen that was to be analyzed to find the effect of pesticides. That was my first time in a Bee-suit 😊
If you want to read more about the project I participated in, you can follow the link below:
My bee hotel will probably not make a big difference in overall picture for the bees, but I hope that I can teach my children and maybe their friends the importance of bees and other insects!
Other things you can do around the house to help the bees is to not cut the grass to often so that there will be different flowers in the lawn. And, to have different plants that flower throughout spring, summer and fall for the bees to have food all through the season.
A lot of the information above has been borrowed from the two pages linked below that have a lot more interesting information!
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