In 2015, residents of Oslo, Norway, decided to do something about the dwindling honeybee population by creating a virtual “honey highway”-- a bee-friendly corridor of places in the city where bees can live and feed among marigolds, sunflowers, and other nectar-rich plants. Led by bee conservationists known as BiBy and the Oslo Garden Society, and using public and private resources, safe havens were created on rooftops and balconies throughout the urban landscape.
Roughly a third of Norway’s 200 wild bee species are considered endangered -- a serious problem since 30 to 40 percent of all food production requires pollination.
To bee or not to bee:
- A worldwide program known as Pollinator Pathway, founded in 2007, was the first initiative that sought to create corridors between developed and wilderness areas for the use of insect pollinators.
- The disappearance of pollinators is a growing crisis in the United States. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2015 that 40 percent of America’s honeybee colonies had died during a 12-month period.
- Colony Collapse Disorder was first noted in 2006. Possible causes include the use of pesticides and insecticides, such as neonicotinoid; pests such as the varroa mite; the spread of diseases and viruses; and poor nutrition and habitat loss.