Thriving bees in Valencia Spain are double that of the city’s population.
The population in this east coast Spanish city totals 790,000.
But the city has more than 800,000 bees now.
And all of that happened because the city did something about it.
There weren’t endless studies, endless consultations.
The politicians acted instead of talking.
But so rare.
But the politicians in Valencia were smart and savvy.
They realized from Day One that the bees were in a precarious position.
But let’s go back to 2015 when it all started.
Spain was facing a drought.
Fruit fell from the trees.
Flowers wilted and lakes dried up.
So thousands and thousands of bees fled the countryside for the safety of cities.
Valencia was one of them.
And the influx of all these bees caused a problem.
A serious one.
Bee colonies were everywhere.
Some colonies were up to 10,000 strong.
Thriving Bees In Valencia Spain
These colonies were found in parks, graveyards. streetlights and abandoned cars.
And within a few months firefighters were trying to cope with 400 beehives.
So the city swung into action.
And so did the Tree Observatory—tasked with defending natural life in the city.
“We found that the city was welcoming a multitude of bees, so we partnered with the firefighters to collect hives and distribute them to a new municipal colony,” says Santiago Uribarrena, the Observatory’s boss.
“There are now 20 colonies across Valencia: on the terrace of the Observatory; in the grounds of the Museum of Natural Sciences; and on another council site.”
And the partnership between the Observatory and the firefighters did something special.
It placed scented colony boxes around the city.
This enticed the bees to make their hives there instead of public spaces.
Thriving Bees In Valencia Spain
And it worked.
Bees are now spread all over, away from the public spaces.
And are thriving.
But that was not the case for bees in 2015.
It was a bad year for bees.
It was the year of the great bee die-off across Europe and the Americas.
Bees were under serious attack.
It was called – colony collapse disorder.
And it wiped out a whopping 30 to 90 per cent of beekeeper’s colonies.
And scientists have been unable to find a cause for the bee colony collapse phenomenon.
Instead they think it is a combination of factors:
Pollution, habitat loss, herbicides, and viruses.
Other scientists believe viruses may be the reason.
For instance there is deformed wing virus,
It causes bees to develop disfigured, nonfunctional wings.
But bees are highly critical to the world’s food production.
They are responsible for making a third of our food possible.
From cherries to blueberries to cucumbers to apples and so much more, bees are essential.
Some crops are almost entirely dependent on honeybee pollination for survival.
This includes blueberries, avocados, onions, broccoli, carrots, and cantaloupe.
Almonds are 100 per cent dependent on honeybees.
And last year there was some good news for the bee population of the world.
Scientists now say they have developed a vaccine that will save bees.
And Valencia is not the only city that has developed bee-friendly policies.
Amsterdam is one city that has enjoyed great success with its simple approach.
But in Canada politicians have done next to nothing about our dwindling bee population.
They study and study.
Or even worse ignore ignore.