The past twenty years have been a time of intensification of the disturbing phenomenon of bee depopulation. Not only beekeepers and ecologists are sounding the alarm. There are fewer and fewer bees, and this issue is becoming increasingly important in the public debate, including in the EU Forum (a special resolution in 2018 called for urgent action and the urgent development of a long-term bee protection strategy by including the European Parliament). Why are bees so important? It’s easy. The data quoted in the resolution shows that as much as 76% of food production in Europe is pollinated. Application? Bees are essential to our food security.
Our valuable pollinators
The mass disappearance of bees is a phenomenon observed all over the world (in Polish apiaries the problem has been noticeable for several years). Sometimes the hives are empty overnight and the bees get sick and die. Rode? Parasitic mites, fungi, viral diseases … Scientists have long been looking for a diagnosis, but most of them increasingly point to the increasing pollution of the environment, especially the large-scale use, including in agriculture, plant protection products.
How to help the bees? By choosing flowers for flower beds, we can plant these honey-bearing flowers (we get colorful, fragrant and long-blooming flowers and pollinators – a lot of raw material for the production of honey, nectar, honeydew and pollen). Heather, lavender or catnip? Bees like it! We can also… build a beehive, or even a few.
This option was chosen by LOTOS, an oil company that trades, among other things, in the extraction and processing of crude oil. Thanks to his efforts, eight wooden beehives were built in the area of Grupa LOTOS, on the border of Przejazdowo near Gdańsk.
“If there are no bees, we will not be there. At Grupa LOTOS we are aware of this. Hence the project,” he explains Adam Kasprzyk, press spokesperson and communications director at Grupa LOTOS.
Beehive and much more
The beehives from the Gdańsk area are the core of the “LOTOS Municipal Pasieka” (eventually they will be inhabited by about 800,000 bees). July 9 this year Family gatherings were held with the participation of children and parents, LOTOS employees, painting the cabinets together (many kinds of brushes and ecological water-based wood paint were made at the disposal of small artists), but this is only the beginning . The LOTOS urban beehives project aims to protect the environment, train workers and their families in an ecological way, and also have a positive impact on the natural environment near the Group’s Gdańsk plant, under more by improving biodiversity in the immediate vicinity of the refinery.
“It is estimated that as much as 70 percent. World agriculture is dependent on bees. City Hives met the expectations of companies that want to pursue not only business, but also pro-social. They are aware that more and more areas are covered every year with concrete and less green areas, which is why we are taking joint actions to increase the number of bees,” he explains Micha Sobala from BEUUP.PL
The first tenants
When can you taste the first honey from the LOTOS apiary? Production will start soon. In the coming days, experienced beekeepers, who will take care of new beehives all year round, will introduce the first insects (the social project “City Apiary LOTOS” assumes the arrangement of hives with a gentle breed of bees native to our country ). As he explains Tomasz Wojtiuk from BEUUP.PL, every bee family will be able to produce up to 50 kg of honey!
In addition to honey production, the project also includes competitions, numerous educational materials and creative games for the children of LOTOS employees. The first was to paint beehives, which, thanks to little artists, are now full of color and life. – “Children are wonderful, extremely creative and open-minded. With great dedication they transformed our wooden beehives into something unique, giving us adults an impulse to think about the future of this world “- he explained at the official inauguration of the project, Adam Kasprzyk.
Design for generations
Why did the oil company join the process of creating urban apiaries? LOTOS has a long-standing corporate social responsibility policy and places great emphasis on environmentally friendly educational activities. The newly opened project, in addition to its environmental dimension, should also be a wealth of knowledge about ecology, bee life and the natural environment. Each queen of the LOTOS apiary will be marked with a number and color (color marking is part of the international bee marking system, marking the queen bee makes it easier to find her in the hive), and next to the hives, as part of the municipal apiary project LOTOS, houses for the so-called . wild pollinators and other insects, including wild solitary bees.
“It’s a great project, because thanks to such small – but very useful insects, it connects several generations and will remain so for many generations to come. This is what we want,” he sums up Adam Kasprzyk.