I was amazed to see shelters for bees to pop up across Paris. This one is at Cité Universitaire, where there are at least four hotels alike. It contains different natural materials, such as wood, clay and bamboo, to host a variety of species.
Bees are the champions of pollination, an essential service for food production and ecosystem maintenance. At least one-third of all we eat and about 80% of flowering plants depend upon pollination provided by bees and other insects and animals. The economic value of pollination is estimated globally as 153 billion euros per year (FAO).
Despite their critical importance, bees are disappearing at an alarming rate in many parts of the world, which could lead to a pollination crisis. Many factors contribute to such decline, and several of them are linked to our activities. Possible reasons include the use of pesticides, the predominance of monocultures in global crop production, the lack of flowers around and climate change.
For this multi-causal problem, we need a variety of solutions. Creating hotels for pollinating insects, eating organic food and planting wildflowers are among the actions we can take. Some people (and companies) go further and install their own honey bee hives, a growing trend taking place also in Paris. But this is a topic for another post. 😉