An Austrian beekeeper has called on citizens to raise their efforts in protecting the environment.
Rosi Fellner – who heads the Kufstein District Association Of Beekeepers in Tyrol – claimed that protecting the environment is a skill as important as learning to read and write.
Speaking about the precarious situation of wild bee species in Austria, the beekeeping expert said: “Becoming aware of the issue is of great importance. People should make sensible decisions at the supermarket. We also must do more to protect our soil, air and water.”
Fellner added: “We should all participate in some way. Every little step helps.”
Around 700 different wild bee species live in Austria’s nine provinces. Any other species but the domesticated western honeybees are generally referred to as wild bees.
Wild bees do not produce honey. However, they are of vital importance concerning stable ecosystems due to their intense pollinating activity.
Leafcutter bees, sweat bees and mason bees may be the best-known solitary bees.
Wild bees prefer dry and warm conditions. Some wild bee species form communities which are considerably smaller than the colonies in hives consisting of tens of thousands of honeybees.
Wild bees – which have a life span between four and eight weeks – are struggling to survive wherever they are confronted with a lack of flower strips and untouched meadows. Furthermore, the lives of the insects are endangered by intense industrial and housing construction.
Fellner recently shared her knowledge at a day of action initiated to make residents, local organisations and decision-makers aware of the difficult situation wild bees are in.
Attendees were not just provided with information on the current state of regional ecosystems. They were also shown how to build wooden nesting spots to protect the wild bee population in their direct vicinity.