London is planting a giant bee corridor to boost insect numbers

bee

(Boris Smokrovic, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Charlotte Edmond, Formative Content


At any one time it’s estimated there are 10 quintillion insects alive. That’s 10,000,000,000,000,000,000. Or an awful lot of bugs. By biomass they outnumber humans many times over. Is your skin crawling yet?

Many of us hold no great affection for creepy crawlies, so it’s easy to overlook the crucial role they play in supporting ecosystems. Sitting at the bottom of the food web, they are also nature’s waste disposers, crucial to decomposition. Without them we would more than likely go hungry, with many crops needing pollinators to thrive.

But habitat loss and widespread use of insecticides and agrichemicals has led to insect numbers plummeting in recent years.

Image: BBC/Nature Communications

In London, as with many other cities, you’re more likely to hear the buzz of cars than insects. But the UK’s capital is looking to give bugs a boost by creating an insect highway through the north-west of the city.

A seven-mile wildflower corridor is being planted in parkland to provide a safe haven for insects. To support a range of bees and other pollinators, a mixture of seeds has been chosen.

Dramatic decline

There has been a catastrophic loss of flower-rich grasslands in England since the 1930s, often as a result of intensive farming or redevelopment of green sites. This is a key reason insect populations have declined.

Recent studies have shown some species of pollinators in Britain have decreased by up to a third in the past two decades. There has also been a dip in the range of insects seen: in contrast to the sharp decline seen in some species, other insects, particularly those that favour crops, have become more prevalent.

Image: Defra

Flight paths

Experts are concerned by the impact the falling bug count will have.

The UK government is five years into a strategy to curb pollinator loss, and is working with bodies such as Buglife to introduce more spaces to support pollinating insects. The charity is introducing a network of insect pathways throughout Britain, running through towns and countryside to connect existing wildlife areas together.

Alongside this, it is working to create “urban hotspots” for insects, transforming mown and unused areas of land by introducing shrubs, flowers and so-called bee hotels.

The EU is taking steps to protect bees.
Image: European Commission

Elsewhere, Norway has built a “bee highway” through its capital, Oslo. And Berlin is one of a number of cities around the world to have introduced urban hives in a bid to support bee populations.

Honey bees, bumblebees, wild bees and other pollinators are estimated to bring at least $25 billion to the European agriculture industry, ensuring pollination for most crops and wild plants.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The three biggest challenges for India’s future

Planet’s Health is Our Health and the Reverse is True

EP President at the European Youth Event: “Your ideas are key in shaping EU’s future”

Greenhouse gas levels in atmosphere break another record, UN report shows

Shifting Tides: Policy Challenges and Opportunities for the G-20

Tunisia wants to change inheritance rules to boost gender equality

Israel @ MWC14: Israel The Start App Nation

European Youth Forum celebrates 20 years of fighting for youth rights

ITU Telecom World 2018 takes place in Durban, South Africa

Scientists can lead the fight against fake news

EU to spend €6 billion on youth employment and training futile schemes

SMEs are driving job growth, but need higher investment in skills, innovation and tech to boost wages and productivity

LETTER FROM AFGHANISTAN: Elections serve up food for thought, for Afghan youth

The refugee crisis brings to light EU’s most horrible flaws and nightmares

GSMA Reveals Shortlist For 2019 Asia Mobile Awards

Three countries losing ground and one new prime minister

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “No other problem has jeopardised the EU as much as the refugee question” Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, cries out from Davos

A Europe that Protects: Commission calls for continued action to eradicate trafficking in human beings

India is a latecomer to AI. Here’s how it plans to catch up

What people want – ignore at your peril

COP24 negotiations: Why reaching agreement on climate action is so complex

‘Deteriorating’ human rights in Belarus amounts to ‘wholescale oppression’: UN expert

Wide-ranging reforms needed to ensure Italy’s economic recovery

UN chief appoints Luis Alfonso de Alba as Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit

There is no greater sorrow on earth than the loss of one’s native land

Food safety: New rules to boost consumer trust approved by MEPs

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page

UN chief condemns deadly attacks in Afghanistan

Women in Iceland have walked out of work to dispute the gender pay gap

Celebrate love, strengthen partnerships to end AIDS epidemic by 2030 says UN agency

Venezuela must guarantee judicial impartiality – UN human rights expert

Energy of African youth ‘propelling’ new development era as UN ties bear fruit

Industrial price dive may lead to point of no return

Sudan: UN chief deplores excessive force used against pro-democracy protesters, calls on military and civilian leaders to ‘stay the course’ in negotiations

3 ways blockchain can revolutionize global supply chains

We can decide to live within the limits of our planet

China-EU Special Report: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang endorses China’s big investment on Juncker’s plan at 10th China-EU Business Summit

Idlib deal could save three million ‘from catastrophe’ says UN chief, as militants are urged to lay down arms

The ECB still protects the banks at the expense of the EU taxpayers

Migrants, asylum seekers detained in Hungary ‘deliberately deprived of food’: UN human rights office

This is how Middle Eastern retailers can keep up with e-commerce

‘Global sisterhood’ tells perpetrators ‘time is up’ for pandemic of violence

“We need to accelerate our negotiation on the China-EU Investment Treaty”, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang highlights from the 21st EU-China summit in Brussels

These are the next big products in consumer technology

Will Cameron succeed in keeping UK inside the EU and reverse the present economic downturn?

Seize the opportunities of digital technology to improve well-being but also address the risks

A European young student shares his thoughts on Quality Education

EU elections: The louder the threats and the doomsaying the heavier the weight of the vote

3 things the G20 can do to save the World Trade Organization

Why a cash-free future might not be as close as you think

35th ACP-EU Assembly: migration and demographics will dominate the debate

Retirees will outlive their savings by a decade

Halting spread of drug resistance from animals to humans: deal with Council

Where does our food come from? Here’s why we need to know

European Investment Bank to borrow €70 billion in 2013

4 steps towards wiping out cervical cancer

Finland has giant supermarkets that only stock second-hand goods

Financial transactions tax gets go ahead

Parliament adopts its position on digital copyright rules

The European Union and the United States reach an agreement on imports of hormone-free beef

More Stings?

Trackbacks

  1. […] London is planting a monstrous bee hallway to boost insect multitudes The European Sting […]

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s