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Zzzzzzzzg – Welcome to the „Bee Hotel“!

When we hear the word “bees”, some of us will think of honey (and who doesn’t like this sweet wonder), others will think of flowers, and some people will experience fear of being stung. Whichever group we belong to, we mustn’t and shouldn’t neglect the importance of these tiny creatures in our everyday life and the ecosystem we all depend on.

Our hardworking bees are pollinators in charge of transporting the plants’ pollen from the stamen to the pistil, enabling them to reproduce and prosper. And did you know that 90% of wild plants and 75% of all crops we grow actually depend on pollinators? Therefore, it is clear that we have lots to be grateful for to these small insects, and that we have to do all that we can to preserve them and facilitate their existence and prosperity.

And this is the reason why the City of Zagreb brought forth a noteworthy initiative – bee hotels all over the city!

Blooming meadow and its residents

The next time you come across an unkempt meadow, do not stress over the aesthetics or other reasons, but rather look for a cute little house holding a sign “Hotel za pčele / Bee hotel”.

The sight is a pilot project called “Cvjetne livade / Blooming meadows”, initiated by the City of Zagreb. Zones will be introduced on nine locations in six neighbourhoods (Stenjevec, Trešnjevka – south, Trnje, Podsused – Vrapče, Peščenica – Žitnjak, Maksimir), and in those zones the vegetation will still bloom so it can be pollinated by bees. This is also one of Zagreb’s green transition initiatives, made in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development.

The project will be implemented from May to December 2024, and you will recognise the locations by the informational boards next to those Blooming meadows.

Both urban and natural

Urban centre can hardly be related to a plethora of flora and fauna in one’s mind. Zagreb, however, is known for its abundance of parks and green areas; it is a city proud of the beauty of its surroundings and its Sava River. Therefore, the city took on this project which has already been conducted in cities all over Europe – perhaps we should mention the neighbouring Slovenia and its capital, Ljubljana.

Frequent mowing of the city’s lawns causes drainage and loss of valuable nutrients in the ground, but these pollinator oases will prompt the exact opposite. The presence of hardworking insects such as bees will encourage biodiversity and bring back the essence of pure nature into the urban surroundings.

This is an important project, especially when we take the loss of natural treasures into consideration, which primarily occurs due to climate changes.

This is one of the ways in which our beloved city will contribute to the struggle against the loss of biodiversity, one of the ways in which it will encourage its residents to rethink what is happening around them, but also in which it will familiarize them with often too hidden importance of bees in our everyday life.

Are you scared of bees? Should you be worried when you see an unkempt meadow and hear the familiar buzzzzzing? Of course not! This project has proven itself safe and effective all over Europe. So just enjoy the view, knowing this is one of the steps towards the preservation of our planet.

Photo credit: Lice grada i Grad Zagreb