An increasing number of decision-makers are realising the importance of wild bees and balanced biodiversity, according to the head of the German Association of Beekeepers.
Torsten Ellmann said more and more mayors all over the country were backing his organisation’s initiatives for greener city centres.
Ellmann told broadcaster SWR: “We have registered growing support for ideas such as the greening of walls and rooftop terraces.
“Town council delegates now also realise that turning public lawns into wildflower fields does not just help to save rare species. Mowing fewer areas also saves them money.”
Speaking about the current challenges regarding the protection of wild bee species like mason bees, leafcutter bees and carpenter bees, the association chief said: “Certain difficulties still exist. However, I have registered a growing awareness among citizens, apiarists and farmers.”
Ellmann emphasised: “Wild bees are vital for a healthy environment. They are important pollinators.
“Furthermore, some wild bee species are true experts in their field as they fully focus on just one certain plant. If those wild bee species become extinct, those plants will be gone soon too as they depend on their pollinating activity.”
The Federal Association of Beekeepers in Germany has more than 137,000 members. Overall, an estimated 170,000 residents engage in beekeeping.
Germany takes 8th place in the European Commission’s (EC) apiculture statistics. Beekeepers in the country managed 982,000 hives last year.
Spain – where almost three million hives were registered – takes first place ahead of Romania (2.2mn) in the research which considered beekeeping in the European Union’s (EU) 27 member states.
Beekeepers in Germany harvested 37.2 kilogrammes of honey on average per colony this year, according to a survey by the Centre for Bees and Beekeeping.
One 500-gramme jar of blossom honey currently costs EUR 6.11 (GBP 5.28) on average in Germany.