Researchers in France have found a large number of species of “wild bees” living in and adapting to urban and semi-urban environments.

Mark Kinver, a BBC environmental writer, reports:

Writing in Plos One, they (the researchers) added that 60 species were also found in very urbanised areas in the city of Lyon.

There is widespread concern that wild bee populations in rural areas are being adversely affected by a number of factors, including pesticides.

“For a bee species to be present in [an urban] habitat, it must be able to find food and nesting substrate,” said co-author Laura Fortel, a researcher from the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA).

“Urban and periurban (the transition between rural and urban) sites can provide high quantities of flowers all year long; they show a high diversity of land cover types and are often warmer than surrounding landscapes.” (quoted material)

One of the reasons the researchers gave for the bee-friendly environments of cities and suburbia is the reduced amount of pesticides that are likely in these places.

 

Key words: wild bees in urban areas, suburbia, periurban areas, pesticides, lack of pesticides in urban areas

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