A bumlebee lands on an Echinacea flower. Photo: Swallowtail Garden Seeds/Flickr
The Norwegian capital has inaugurated the world's first 'bumble bee highway', a corridor through the city pollen stations every 250 meters.
“The idea is to create a route through the city with enough feeding stations for the bumblebees all the way,” Tonje Waaktaar Gamst of the Oslo Garden Society told local paper Osloby. ”Enough food will also help the bumblebees withstand manmade environmental stress better.”
Bumblebees and other pollinating insects struggle in urban environments where there are few flowers rich in nectar, effectively starving them.
Gams and his team have placed flowerpots on rooftops and balconies along a route from east to west through the city.
During the last few years, bees, bumblebees and other insects have suffered, with many colonies dying out, causing damage to agriculture that depends on the insects.
Although Norway is not as hard hit as the US, six out of 35 Norwegian bumblebee species are close to extinction.
Oslo's municipality is co-operating with environmental organisations, the public, and and companies, who are asked to plant bumblebee friendly flowers on their property.
To help the insects along, the organisation BiBy (Bee Town) has created an app, where the public can see the “grey areas”, long stretches with no food for bees, in order to encourage the planting of flowers in areas that don’t have nearby parks.
“It will be easy to see barriers and obstacles on the map. The goal is to inspire people to fill these gaps.” Agnes Lyche Melvær of BiBy told Osloby
The public will also be able to upload pictures of their projects to improve the situation for bees and bumblebees, such as flowerpots and bee hotels.
”Some bee species like to live in solitary rooms. They need small hollows like a crack in an old tree truck. It’s very important to have some old wood lying around,” says Melvær.