The importance of bees in the maintenance of the environment becomes clearer each year
A nationwide bee-counting campaign has yielded a record number of bees. Almost 200,000 bees have been counted in the Netherlands; much more than last year. People in Drenthe took part in large numbers, with dozens of people spending half an hour looking for bees in their garden last weekend in one final counting drive.
Nationally, more than 10,000 people took part in the fourth nationwide bee census; with a total of over 192,000 bees. It is still an interim count: the counting form can still be completed and sent in until 20:00 tonight. The census map shows that dozens of people have already submitted a census throughout Drenthe, RTV Drenthe reports.
Last year, about 130,000 bees were counted by more than 10,000 people. There are all kinds of campaigns in place to help support bee numbers, such as a new ‘greening package’ that Asser primary schools have received for their outdoor space.
Bee expert at Naturalis Koos Biesmeijer says: “Everyone is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of wild bees and wants to commit themselves to it. The annual garden counts contribute to research into wild bees in the Netherlands. It gives us new insight into, for example, the differences between regions, or the urban environment and the countryside.”
Just like in the previous three years, the honey bee is now one of the most seen species. The number of wild bees (of which many species are endangered) have not come close to the honey bee in terms of numbers.
The data from this edition has yet to be analyzed in detail, but Biesmeijer does not have the impression that bees are declining in urban areas. “In recent years, there has been a lot of attention for bees. Not only have many municipalities improved their mowing policy, but many garden owners have also paid more attention to a natural and bee-rich garden. More greenery and flowers, a bee hotel and fewer tiles have made many gardens more attractive to them.”