How cities could save bees
Bee populations are struggling everywhere, but ironically they may be better off in cities than in the countryside. Why? Because rural areas have larger swathes of flowering plants when they're in season, but cities have them year-round in the form of urban parks and gardens.
Prof Jane Memmott, an ecologist, believes bees in the city have a more diverse diet of pollen and nectar from all the different green spaces around homes and offices, that gardeners keep blooming all year round.
By contrast bees in the countryside can be surrounded by one type of crop that is only in flower for a short period before being harvested.
Window boxes, balcony gardens, pocket parks, courtyards, and other urban green spaces all contribute to giving city bees a more varied pollen diet. The University of Bristol is currently studying the health of city versus country bees, but it may turn out that they benefit from diversity in cities as much as humans do.
Donate now to support our work.