Some 3,500 people took part in this weekend’s mass bee count in an effort to establish the health of the Netherlands’ bee population.
In total, the bee spotters recorded 36,000 bees, of which the honey bee was the most common. The red mason bee (Osmia bicornis) came in second place and the bumble bee, or hommel in Dutch, was third.
‘We did not expect so many people to take part,’ Marchien de Ruiter, spokeswoman for the organisers, told broadcaster NOS. ‘It can be pretty tricky to count bees and separate the different types.’
Some 20 different species of bee can be spotted in Dutch gardens in April and May.
Given this was the first national bee count, it is difficult to say what the figures mean for the bee population. ‘We’ll only be able to spot trends after a few years,’ De Ruiter said.
The count was organised by a string of environmental organisations. There are almost 360 different species of bee in the Netherlands and half of them are threatened. Yet bees are responsible for pollinating 80% of the edible crops grown in the Netherlands.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation