See the diversity in a city!

The countryside is often found boring by people living in vibrating cities. The choices between shops is very small since there are only a few (if you are lucky) and definitely not more than one per type. Inhabitants do not only know their neighbors but also the people in their street by name and maybe even the rest of the inhabitants of the village by face. This is not only because they meet each other at school, in sports classes or in the café next door, but also because at least some are relatives. Diversity in population is not very big.

This problem is not only visible in the human population. The diversity in crops is getter smaller and smaller while farms are growing bigger. It is definitely caused by the European policies which have encouraged farmers to work more efficient. Not a bad idea since it is necessary to feed many people who do not want to pay too much for their food. Now each farm specializes in growing one crop for which the farmer has the right machinery and knowledge. After some years of experience he knows exactly how to deal with it. On one hand a very good approach (efficiency means low prices for consumers) , on the other hand not very sustainable (soil needs a brake, diversity is necessary for fertility).

Growing just one crop per farm not only influences the appearance of the landscape in the bigger scale. It also influences the micro scale habitat of the insects. When citizens find a rural village to quiet they move to the city. A city has everything: from German beer stube to Mexican restaurant, from second hand clothing shop to exclusive jewelry stores and everything in between. Even though the city also has its disadvantages – busy, noisy and sometimes dirty – these are taken for granted.

Bees have followed the people. They found out that the diversity in cities is much bigger than those on the countryside. Each citizen brings its culture into the city and possibly mixes his with that of someone else. This means already three types. Counting up the amount of people living in a city and the enormous variety of backgrounds there will be a confetti of people.

Balconies, roof gardens, courtyards, left over corners and parks are all grown with plants brought in by families or by the government. To the bees this range is like a sweet shop for children. So much to choose from! The perfect habitat to survive.

Since bees are indispensable for our food supply, we should make sure they can not only live in cities but also feel comfortable on the countryside. Thinking of the birds and the bees and television programs in which farmers will look for a wife: maybe the farmers have to mix up at bit more. Not only in their own private life, but also on their farms.