Urban gardens for bees: how Germany wants to save insects from extinction

The decline in the number of pollinating insects is worth a loss of 200 billion a year. Urban gardens for bees: this is how Germany saves them from extinction

Not only the areas dedicated to dogs, those that in Italy are called "dog walking areas". Inside Germany's public urban parks, more than a hundred small patches of land have sprung up where bees, a very important insect in the cycle of life, yet endangered by the use of agricultural pesticides, can find refuge.

These very special "safe zones" are the result of investments of millions of euros: between Hamburg, Stuttgart, Leipzig, Berlin and Munich there are dozens of them. This is where the pollinating invertebrates "migrated" from the countryside to the cities to find refuge from the risks associated with the methods used in intensive agriculture.

Bees are disappearing, the numbers of studies

The numbers of research are alarming and amply justify the creation of safe harbors in German green areas. A study published in the scientific journal Plos One, whose conclusions were verified through a special suitability process, claimed that in the 27 years prior to 2017, about 75% of flying insects in Germany experienced a decline in density.

Of the more than 300 species of bees in Berlin, moreover (out of a total of 580 found nationwide) more than 50% are on the verge of disappearing. All this also has an economic cost, represented by the damage that the lack of pollination causes to crops. A Dutch study, in fact, estimates the impact of the reduction in the number and variety of bees at 200 billion euros per year.

What initiatives has Germany put in place to protect insects

In light of the numbers, it's clearer how the 1.5 million euros invested by the municipality of Berlin to create 50 green spaces dedicated to bees is something of an investment. In Munich there are 30, in addition to those in other major cities. Not only that. The protection program of the German authorities has also foreseen the creation of beehives on the roofs of monuments, both religious and for civil administration. In short, it seems that to stop a very worrying phenomenon we will have to move in the direction of a closer coexistence with these precious insects.

This is not the only solution in the field to protect invertebrates indispensable to life on the planet: here, for example, the mask that will save the bees. The world of these precious insects is also full of fascinating mysteries: scientists have discovered how they are able to understand what time it is.

Giuseppe Giordano