More than 40,000 square metres of public property all over Berlin have been turned into wild bee habitats, officials in the German capital have revealed.
Launched in June 2018, the city government’s “Berlin Is Blooming” initiative ensured the transformation of 80 different meadows across the metropolis into untouched pastures.
Now Deputy Mayor Bettina Jarasch has announced that the project will continue for at least three more years.
Jarasch – who is also the city’s environment senator – said: “Bees and other insects are indispensable. By pollinating plants, they ensure biodiversity.”
The Greens politician criticised the “intensification” of agricultural activities, the application of herbicides and the ongoing sealing of soils.
Jarasch added: “We can support bees in numerous ways. Our project helps to motivate businesses and individuals.”
According to the deputy mayor, the city government will subsidise the initiative with EUR 1.59 million (GBP 1.4 million) various within the coming three years.
The environment senator said the “Berlin Is Blooming” project participants would continue their wide range of activities such as holding workshops and examining the local flora and fauna.
Greens delegate Turgut Algut called the campaign an “essential part” of Berlin’s biodiversity strategy.
The term wild bees describes solitary bees such as mason bees and carpenter bees. These species do not produce beeswax or honey.
However, they play a vital role in local ecosystems due to their intense pollinating activity.
The city government of Berlin – which has more than 3.6 million residents – cooperates with the German Wild Animal Foundation on the solitary bee support campaign. The institution launched a similar project in Hamburg eight years ago.