“A buzzing city” gets a whole new meaning

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The prime pollinator in the world is dying out in drastic numbers due to the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). The CCD event occurs when, for some undetermined reason, the majority of the worker bees leave the hive along with the queen, nurses to take care of the immature bees and a sufficient food supply for the remnants. The outcome is unfavourable for all involved parties as bee colonies are superorganisms. This means that they are an interdependent group of organisms working towards a common goal, making survival difficult once separated.

“If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.”

Albert Einstein

The phenomenon has spread throughout populations of bees in regions of Europe and the US, causing the death of hives in the millions. In the US alone, hives have declined from 5 million in 1998 to 2.5 million in 2015.

As the unconfirmed words of Albert Einstein go, “If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.” Even though the words may be a bit dramatic, the implications are not to be taken lightly. A vast degree of the world’s food supply is highly dependent on the pollination cycle of the bees. Hence, humankind will definitely feel the impact of bee extinction.

Urban bees

However, people are taking measures to revitalize the buzzing of our companions. One new trendy measure is to urbanize beekeeping. This was introduced mostly to curb the harm done by ever-growing cities, pushing bees out of their habitats. The shifting habitats caused by urbanization was actually one of the hypothetical causes of CCD. Regardless, the urban beekeeping is benefiting the species and the hype is going strong, especially among cities competing for supremacy in sustainability. Matter of fact, there is one such project happening here in Oslo and if you weren’t already aware, on top of the BI campus.

Photo by Eriksson Luo on Unsplash

The transformation of BI’s roof from an everyday terrace to a pollinator habitat and honey farm was done by Bybi, an urban beekeeping organization. The organization carries out similar projects throughout Oslo. Bybi Bistår is service offered by Bybi that assists organizations, residents or farmers in establishing a pollinator-friendly landscape. Roof surfaces are found to be an ideal space for developing habitats for bees, as it utilizes unused space as well as avoid bees from troubling pedestrians.

Urbanizing beekeeping will benefit cities like Oslo in several ways. Bees will drive biodiversity in cities, nurturing more plants in different varieties, against the obstructions of city pollutants. This will not just create a more beautiful environment, but also a much healthier one with cleaner air.

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