Over the last years, the population of bees has been dramatically decreasing all over the world. According to the 2014 annual survey by the US Department of Agriculture, American beekeepers reported that more than two out of five of their colonies had died, meaning that the bee population has declined by 40-60% since April 2014.
It’s quite a disturbing trend, considering the consequences of bee extinction for humans and the world. Bees pollinate 70% of the food we eat and are vital to the ecosystem. A world without bees would be a world without fruit, vegetables, nuts and flowers. Not the best place to live in, actually.
Why do bees die? As in the case of nearly all environmental problems, it’s all human activity. Most scientists agree that intensive agriculture and the use of chemicals and pesticides in farming are the most probable cause of the decrease in the bee population.
“Agriculture is completely dependent on pollinators to maintain food production just as insects are dependent on diverse agriculture to survive. It’s a mutual dependence,” said Christian Steel of the Norwegian Biodiversity Network.
Something should be done to save the endangered pollinators, and Norway has found a simple and effective solution to this problem – a safe passage for the bee population is planned to be built in Oslo, Norway’s capital.
Even though the Norwegian bee population doesn’t face such a dramatic decline as that of the US, it is estimated that a third of the country’s 200 wild bee species are in danger of extinction.
“We are constantly reshaping our environment to meet our needs, forgetting that other species also live in it. To correct that we need to return places to them to live and feed,” said Agnes Lyche Melvaer, head of the ByBi, a bee-focused environmental group based in Oslo.
This world’s first ‘highway for bees’ will be a network of green zones of the city, such as green roofs and balconies, as well as private gardens and flower beds. It will make it possible for the pollinators to move safely through these flowering habitats inside the city.
The organizers of this initiative hope to encourage Oslo residents, local schools and businesses to participate in the project and contribute to the construction of bee-friendly feeding stations and other installations aimed to help the precious insects.
It’s a wonderful initiative and will certainly bring good results. More projects like Oslo’s bee highway could help save bees and other endangered species in different countries of the world. The point is to make people realize the importance of being in harmony with nature and other living creatures on this planet.