How city dwellers can help bees and butterflies adapt to the urban setting

Natural pollinators like bees and butterflies are responsible for the reproduction of many flowering plants and more than three quarters of the world’s crop species. Globally, the value of the services provided by pollinators is estimated at around $235 billion and $577 billion.

However, many are alarmed because pollinators are under threat from factors including intense efforts in farming, climate change, diseases, and even urbanization.

On the contrary, recent studies have suggested that urban areas could actually be beneficial for some pollinators as higher numbers of bee species were recorded in United Kingdom towns and cities, compared with neighboring farmlands.

Urban areas are a complex mix of different land uses and habitats. Pollinators can visit community gardens, cemeteries, churchyards, residential gardens, public parks, nature reserves, and other green spaces.

Its crucial for local authorities, urban planners, gardeners, land managers, and even residents to pitch in and improve the way towns and cities are managed for pollinators.

National pollinator strategies, aimed to protect pollinating insects that support food production and environmental diversity, along with action plans to help bring together the key stakeholders in the city, are already existing in several countries.

A widespread adaptation to this type of united approach can help develop towns and cities for both the people and pollinators that live there.

Ensuring that there are healthy populations of pollinators can benefit native plants and ecosystems in urban areas. It can also aid people who are growing food in their garden or plot of land.

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