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Norway Creates 'Bumblebee Highway'

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The entire world needs to make an effort to reverse the decline of these crucial insects. Good job Norway!

Norway Creates 'Bumblebee Highway' | News | teleSUR English

Environmentalists have created a network of bumblebee feeding stations stretching across Oslo. Norway inaugurated the world's first “bumblebee highway” Friday, as part of efforts to stabilize the country's struggling bee population. Tonje Waaktaar Gamst from the Oslo Garden Society explained the highway is a network of bumblebee feeding stations throughout the Norwegian capital of Oslo. Each feeding station is around 250 meters apart, giving bees access to a bread crumb-like trail through the city. “The idea is to create a route through the city with enough feeding stations for the bumblebees all the way,” Gamst told the Osloby newspaper, according to news website The Local. “Enough food will also help the bumblebees withstand man-made environmental stress better,” Gamst added.

Six of the country's 35 species of bumblebee are endangered, though declining bee populations aren't just a Norwegian problem. Pollution, pesticides, urban sprawl and climate change have all been blamed for declining populations of pollinating insects in much of the world. Almost a quarter of Europe's bumblebees are threatened, according to a dire 2014 report by the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The report found close to half of Europe's bumblebee species are already in decline. Yet the threat to bumblebees isn't just an ecological problem. According to the IUCN, declining populations could create a long-term agricultural disaster for Europe. "Together with other pollinators, bumblebees contribute more than 22 billion euros (US$30.35 billion) to European agriculture a year,"the IUCN stated. Three out of five of the most important insect pollinators in Europe are species of bumblebees, the study pointed out. The insects play a particularly important role in the production of crops such as eggplants, peppers and tomatoes.
 
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