Spiel/Feld: The more plant species, the higher the number of wild bee species
The Wildbienenprojekt [Wild Pollinator Project], a collaboration of 18 Berlin community gardens – among them Spiel/Feld Marzahn [Playing/Field Marzahn] -, the National History Museum Berlin [Museum für Naturkunde Berlin], the Technical University of Munich [Technische Universität München] and the Technical University of Berlin [Technische Universität Berlin], will soon – in April – start into its 3rd year. In preparation, the researchers, led by Monika Egerer, TU Munich, have last week issued an in-depth update on their activities to all participating gardens. They write:
‘… Since the autumn, we have been busy compiling and analysing all our data from last summer on pollinators, plants, soils and the garden environment […] we can already give you a taste of the first results of our observations: In total, we were able to observe almost 13,000 insects on flowers in gardens […] last year. Half of all flower visitors were bees, which thus took first place (of which again half were honey bees and the other half wild bees), flies took second place with about 10%. Beetles and ants shared third place with about 5% each. We were also able to detect exciting wild bees such as the wood bee and the trouser bee in some gardens…’
‘The number of wild bees in the gardens is very high. In 2020, we found 104 species in the 18 Berlin gardens, which corresponds to about 40% of all wild bee species recorded in Berlin. These bees have various functional properties for ecosystems. 25 of these species are on Berlin’s Red List. The diversity of the wild bees is related to the features of the gardens. The more deadwood structures are present, the greater the number of bee species and bee individuals. The more plant species are present, the higher the number of wild bee species, and as the taxonomic diversity of the vegetation increases, so does the functional diversity of wild bees. So: the more taxonomically diverse the composition of a garden’s flora, the more functionally diverse its wild bee fauna will be, e.g. from breeding behaviour to food specialisation.’
Spiel/Feld Marzahn is a neighbourhood community garden in the Berlin borough of Marzahn-Hellersdorf. It was set up in 2011 by a group of stakeholders including local residents and institutions, the local council and landscape architecture students at the Department City and Food at TU Berlin led by Katrin Bohn.
The Wild Pollinator Project can be found here.
For more information about Spiel/Feld Marzahn see the garden’s own website.
For more information on the design of the Spiel/Feld project see here.
Image: Researchers from the Wild Pollinator Project observe and record cultured and wild plant species in 18 community gardens in Berlin. (source: TU München and Museum für Naturkunde Update Ergebnisse 2021)