World Bee Day: How can we specifically help wild bees? | NDR.de – News


Status: 1622-05-16 12:03

May 20 is World Bee Day, so it is imperative to remember these animals as they are in danger. At the same time, their existence is also necessary for us humans to survive.

by Ralph Walter

If we did not have bees, there would be nothing in the garden with a lush harvest and, of course, large growers of fruit and vegetables also depend on bees. We need to roughly distinguish between colonizing bees and single wild bees, which also include bumblebees. Varroa mite is particularly affected by bees. This little mite came to Germany via Asia almost 40 years ago and there is still no one hundred percent antidote to this pest. Once infected with a mite, bee colonies no longer function properly and offspring cannot survive. The task of beekeepers is to curb the growth of Varroa ticks at regular intervals.

Bee on a flower.  © NDR / Katrin Richter

VIDEO: With heart and soul – for bees (59 min.)

Wild bees: More than 30 species are threatened with extinction

Unlike bees, wild bees do not have a group to take care of them professionally. 585 species of wild bees have been identified in Germany, of which more than 30 are currently included Very endangered on the Red List stand. Nearly 200 species are endangered, and just over 40 species are on the early warning list. However, we can plant our gardens or balconies and design them to become a valuable habitat for endangered wild bees. The smallest wild bee is a four-millimeter-high sand steppe, with others growing up to three centimeters in size. Because they live individually and do not have to defend the colony, they are very peaceful and do not really complain.

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Ralph Walter © NDR Photo: Klaus Westermann

Ralph Walter’s nature and garden podcast discusses important gardening topics from A (growing) to Z (ornamental pumpkins).
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How can we specifically help wild bees?

Of course, a proper food supply is important. Wild bees need plants with open flowersso that they can get into the nectar and pollen. Because wild bees are already active at the beginning of the year, early flowering bulbous plants such as snowflakes, croissants, snowflakes, grape hyacinths or winter lice are ideal. Later, open wild rose blossoms, geraniums, rowans, nastrups, and cornflowers are introduced. However, many flowering herbs with open flowers are also popular. Anyone with space for fruit trees in the garden or on the balcony can be sure that wild bees will love to fly, for example, to blackberries, raspberries or blueberries.

Bees specialize in a group of plants

There are even species of wild bees that specialize in only one group of plants. For example, the yellow bee of the viper collects pollen only from the viper, and the silkworm bee collects only the pollen from the ivy. If these plants are lacking, these wild bee species have no chance of surviving.

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Bee collects nectar from fruit tree flowers © Colourbox Photo: Jürgen Brochmann

Wild bees are important helpers in pollinating flowers and plants. Simple auxiliary nests provide them with living space.
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nests and water bowls

However, wild bees also need nests. Many will be surprised that 75 percent of wild bee species breed on land and avoid insect hotels. For garden owners who want to help wild bees, this means they should leave the garden area as sunny as possible and not plant it. For some species, a small pile of loamy sand would also be useful for digging nest tunnels. Water is also important for wild bees, not just for drinking: along with loamy sand, bees get valuable building materials. There must always be a stone in the water bowl so that the insects can land safely and not drown in the water.

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Seeds of native wildflowers

By the way, starting in a small wild bee paradise is not that difficult. If, for example, part of the lawn is to be redeveloped, the turf must be removed to a depth of almost ten centimeters. If possible, regional wildflower seeds are sown in the open. It only takes a few weeks after watering for a colorful variety of flowers to develop there and the wild bees to find new homes.

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The beekeeper shows the honeycomb being built.  © dpa

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