Record number of participants for annual bee count; 128,000 bees counted
A record number of people participated in the Netherlands' National Bee Count this past weekend. Over 9,500 people together counted 128 thousand bees, considerably more than the some 5 thousand people who counted nearly 54 thousand bees last year, NOS reports.
The increase in participants can likely be attributed to the measures in place against the coronavirus - more people were at home or had nothing else to do and therefore spent half an hour counting bees in their garden or on their balcony.
On average, 14 bees and hover flies were counted per garden or balcony. The honeybee was again the most spotted variety, with 51 thousand honeybees counted. The red mason bee came in second place with over 19 thousand observations.
The results of the last three National Bee Counts seem to indicate that bees aren't doing badly in the Netherlands' urban environment, Vincent Kalkman, entomologist at Naturalis, said to NOS. Though he added that counting must be done for around five consecutive years to clarify trends and exclude influences like the weather. Last year's cold weather during the counting weekend, for example, resulted in relatively many bumblebees counted.
Nearly 360 wild bee species live in the Netherlands and over half of them are threatened with extinction. 80 percent of edible crops are pollinated by bees and other insects. They also pollinate wild plants, ensuring food for birds and other species.