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Bees, pollination and citizen science in Berlin's gardens

Cities are home to a diversity of insect species. Many of these insects are specialized plant pollinators, such as wild bees, butterflies and even hoverflies. Berlin is home to more than 300 species of wild bees, half of which are on the Red List and are protected.
Community gardens are a popular green space in Berlin, and can provide habitat for pollinator diversity. Yet, there is still much we need to understand. How can urban gardens contribute to wild bee conservation in Berlin? How can gardeners and urban planners support wild bees and their pollination services in community gardens?
In a citizen science pilot project, the Department of Ecosystem Science/Plant Ecology at the TU Berlin and the MfN investigated these questions together with Berlin gardeners from 18 community gardens. Our aim was to understand more about biodiversity, ecology and the protection of wild bees in Berlin's gardens not only from a scientific point of view, but also to contribute to society’s understanding of wild bees in Berlin. This combined scientific and social understanding is crucial for the preservation of biodiversity in our cities worldwide.
In the course of the summer season (2020) community gardeners in Berlin observed pollination on selected tomato, pumpkin and/or pepper plants. They documented when their plant 1) blossoms, 2) is pollinated and 3) bears fruit. At harvest they measured the size of the fruits. Ecologists at the TU Berlin will observed the wild bees in these gardens and document the habitat features of the different gardens.

The project

In this video we will give you a short introduction to the project.


The Gardens:

The following gardens participated in the pilot project:
The project was carried out under the umbrella of the Berlin-Brandenburgischen Instituts für Biodiversitätsforschung and supported by the project Bridging in Biodiversity Research (BIBS, funded by Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung).