Utrecht is a Dutch city that has done something remarkable for honeybees. They have turned hundreds of their bus stops into bee-friendly locations to support those buzzing pollinators.
Most people think of a bus stop as nothing more than a waiting location for bus passengers. They don’t tend to be an attractive part of the city.
When Utrecht took a closer look at the structures in their city, however, they decided to do something that would benefit everyone.
Utrecht is located in the central Netherlands and there are 316 bus stops within the city. They are now covered in greenery, providing a welcoming location for honeybees.
Not only are they more attractive, but they also help to store rainwater and to capture fine dust particles. Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of growing succulents on the bus stops is the benefit to the biodiversity of the city. Honeybees and bumblebees are benefiting.
The Dutch website, Wildebijen says that there are 358 different species of bees in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, the majority of them are on the Dutch Red List (RL), meaning they are endangered.
Since the bees will be attracted to the shelters, it will encourage pollination.
The European Red List of Bees explains that those insects are important for the agricultural ecosystem. They help to fertilize plants and allow them to reproduce.
Along with making the bus stops into ‘bee stops’, the City Council would like its residents to do something similar by adding greenery to their rooftops. If the roof is over 20 m², they will offer a subsidy to help them get things started.
The Council website explains the benefits of those rooftops:
“A green roof is good for a healthy and livable city. The city can, therefore, better cope with climate problems. It helps to prevent flooding and ensures that we suffer less from heat.”
Additional steps are also being taken to replace 125 of the buses within the city with 55 electric buses by the time 2019 is over.
Deputy Dennis Street had the following to say about the initiative:
“With this replacement, the province of Utrecht, together with the U-OV transport company, will kill two birds with one stone. With the arrival of so many new electric buses, we are taking a big step towards the goal of completely clean public transport in 2028.”
If that wasn’t enough, officials are also going to install solar panels on the bus stops at some point in the future.