The sudden decrease in the number of bee colonies has resonated across the world in the light of the expected dramatic impact these declines could have on ecosystems and crops.
For this reason, wild bees are increasingly the focus of ecological restoration projects such as the following example of a quarry restoration in Poland.
The favourable conditions of former mining sites make them ideal for nesting: high diversity of food plants, lack of pesticides and warm and dry exposition of rocks and screes.
There are 469 bee species in Poland of which 222 are listed as endangered on the country’s Red Data Book and their habitats need protection.
Young researchers from the University of Wroclaw have undertaken a survey on wild bees in the mining area Górażdże as part of HeidelbergCement’s Quarry Life Award.
The researchers compared the species diversity of bees in different habitats, associated with different stages of restoration in the mining area.
These bees can also be used as indicators for successful restoration of xerothermic grasslands on the different parts of the quarry.
The findings so far have confirmed an impressive diversity of bee species in the quarry – a clear contribution of large limestone mining areas to this important animal group.