Norway Creates Awesome “Bumblebee Highway”

Bees are still dying at an alarming pace. Though much of the world merely shrugs at this devastation, one city is taking active steps to make bees’ lives that much easier. Oslo, Norway has created the world’s first “bumblebee highway” – an intentional path running across the city that will appeal to and care for bees.

Highways are normally considered centers for pollution, but this is one highway that’s actually good for the environment. Bees are not only disappearing in general, but they are especially absent in urban areas where real estate is devoted to buildings and concrete rather than flowers and plants. Oslo’s plan to revitalize bee life in the city means creating a steady stream of flowerpots and other bee favorites running east-to-west. To ensure that bees don’t venture off the path, the goal is to place a flowerpot on the rooftop of buildings at least every 800 feet.

“The idea is to create a route through the city with enough feeding stations for the bumblebees all the way,” said Tony Waaktaar Gamst, a representative from the Oslo Garden Society. “Enough food will also help the bumblebees withstand manmade environmental stress better.”

While Norway already does a better job minimizing lethal factors like pesticides than other countries, six of the nation’s existing bee species are facing extinction anyway. The hope is that creating a bee-friendly environment within the city will help the bee populations’ numbers to rebound.

Perhaps the best part of the plan is that it has truly become a community effort. While environmentalists started this plan, since then both businesses and residents have contributed to the project with flowerpots of their own. Organizers have also created an app to chart the bee path. On the map, residents can see where the bee path has the most resources and where it is lacking, so citizens can take it upon themselves to improve areas that need more love. They then can take photos and share ideas to make the project more interactive.

In addition to flowers and vegetation, that also means putting out bee habitats so they have a quiet place to rest. Since bees like entering small cracks for shelter, Norwegians have taken to leaving old pieces of wood along the path to meet this need.

It’s not the first innovative bee initiative that Oslo has scored headlines for recently. Last year, upscale architecture company Snøhetta designed some elaborate golden hives. Over 150,000 bees live in the installations and the honey they generate is sold at a food court beneath the building. The beautiful geometric sculptures are meant to serve as educational public art – not only do they bring more bees to the city, but they also inform people about the importance of preserving these threatened insects.

Congrats to Oslo for being a leader when it comes to taking care of bees. Considering that bees play a role in the production of about one-third of the food humans consume, we’d all be wise to be more appreciative and protective of these insects.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

143 comments

Lesa D
Past Member 1 years ago

what a thoughtful idea to come up with!!!

thank you Kevin...

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Sam Antha
Sam Antha4 years ago

Norway, what an amazing forward thinking country!! Would love to go there one day!!

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Julia Cabrera-Woscek

Neat! Way to go!

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Danuta Watola
Danuta W4 years ago

Thank you for sharing

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Natasha Salgado
Past Member 4 years ago

I'm so impressed--thanks Norway! Why can't we do that here everywhere...

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Jennifer H.
Jennifer H4 years ago

It is innovative and common sense thinking. More cities need to adopt this frame of mind. Besides, if nothing else moves them to act, they could see profit from it. There is a plus for the greed factor.

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Carole R.
Carole R4 years ago

Way to go, Norway.
What an innovative project.

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DaleLovesOttawa O.

A wonderful example of innovative thinking on the part of Norway. Assisting bees is now a necessity.

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