Maistraatinportti – responsibly ready for 2050
YIT offers you the opportunity to follow the buzz in a beehive from May to August in summer 2022. Beehives have been brought in to help with road maintenance to pollinate nearby plants, and a camera placed at the entrance to the hive captures the bees as they enter and leave the hive.
“We have brought in beehives from a local beekeeper and placed them on top of a hill so that the bees’ flight path is high enough and the bees won’t hit cars driving on the road. Maintaining the beehives will also be safe at the chosen location,” says Teemu Lavikka, Site Manager at YIT.
The experiment, devised together with our customer, Tieyhtiö Vaalimaa Oy, will help improve the living conditions of rare insects, as the bees pollinate food plants growing on the sun-scorched slopes and elsewhere in the area. When bees pollinate plants, the plants can reproduce and provide more food for insects, such as rare butterflies. Some butterfly species feed only on certain plants. Increased food supply also enhances the butterflies’ chances of reproducing, thus improving the species' chances of survival.
For example, the northern dock (Rumex longifolius), which is scarce in the area, is a food plant for the larvae of the large copper (Lycaena dispar). Threatened insect species also live on the grasses growing in the scorched areas; among the butterflies, the dusky meadow brown (Hyponephele lycaon) is one of them.
“The number of pollinators has decreased and, in this way, we are able to help the environment. The location is also good for the bees as there is a varied environment nearby, with marshland, hillsides, fields and forests,” says Teemu Lavikka.
Bees belong to the order of Hymenoptera and the best known species is the western honey bee, which is a domesticated insect. The average length of worker bees in the hive is 12–13 mm. They are female and live for about six weeks, except for those born in late summer, which can live in the hive through the winter. The queen can grow up to 20 mm long and is the only bee in the hive that can reproduce. It can live for several years. The sole function of the drones, or male honey bees, is to mate with a queen from another colony, thus creating a new colony. Drones do not have a stinger and die after their mating flight.
In July, there are around 60,000–80,000 bees in the hive. The bee only stings when protecting its hive or when threatened and dies after stinging.
The world’s bee populations have been declining in recent decades. The decline of pollinators threatens both nature and humans, as 75% of crops need at least partial insect pollination. You can help bees yourself by planting pollinator-friendly plants in your garden, leaving your lawn unmown, building an insect hotel, not using toxic substances in your garden and guiding a bee that has wandered indoors out without harming it.