Cooperation with Dutch Forestry Commission to save wild bees

19 May 2021 – De Bijenkorf department store is committed to getting the wild bee off the Red List of Threatened Species. This is done in cooperation with Staatsbosbeheer (the Dutch Forestry Commission) and Buitenfonds. De Bijenkorf employees will help foresters improve the bees’ living conditions, giving them more nesting opportunities and improving their food supply. De Bijenkorf is also financing the construction of bee banks and the planting of a nectar forest. De Bijenkorf CEO Giovanni Colauto and Staatsbosbeheer director Sylvo Thijsen sealed the partnership on Wednesday, 19 May in Utrecht’s Fort Ruigenhoek by placing a bee pole.

The cooperation between de Bijenkorf, Buitenfonds and Staatsbosbeheer fits in with the sustainability strategy that the department store has been pursuing since 2017 under the motto The Future Is Green. Saving the bee is one of the priorities. For the fourth consecutive year, Bijenkorf is campaigning for the bee in its shops and online, this year until the end of May.

Volunteer work by de Bijenkorf employees
In the countryside near de Bijenkorf shops, employees will work with forest rangers to create more nesting places for wild bees. De Bijenkorf donated and placed wooden poles, in which holes are drilled for the wild bees to nest. Bushes are also being removed, so that the sun can better warm the soil in which many wild bees nest.

Investing for the wild bees
In Heeze in Brabant, near the Strabrechtse Heide, the existing insect garden will be expanded with a nectar forest that will provide more nectar and pollen for a long period in spring, when the heather is not yet in bloom. The Houtrakerbeemd near Halfweg will be given an apiary with the help of de Bijenkorf. There is a lot of sea aster growing in the area, which is the favourite food plant of an uncommon kind of bee. A bee bank will not only provide food, but also nesting opportunities for this special species.

Visible effects
Through the Buitenfonds, de Bijenkorf is contributing financially to the work and also deploying its own volunteers. De Bijenkorf also finances the maintenance of the bee population. Each area focuses on a specific bee species and in four of the eight areas, three times a year, the number of wild bee species present is monitored. Each area is therefore counted every other year. This year, the Houtrak near Halfweg, locations near Noordwijk, Fort bij de Ruigenhoeksedijk and Gagelbos in Utrecht and De Plaetse in Heeze will be counted. Although all activities are aimed at specific bee species, they also help ‘regular’ bees.

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