City-living bees benefit most from specific types of urban ‘greening’

Greening urban spaces with native flowering plants could provide an important bee and wasp habitat, according to research fromthe OhioAgricultural Research and Development Center. These findings could prove useful to the world’s estimated 350 “legacy” cities—former industrial hubs withlandscapes that havechanged dramatically as a result of lost manufacturing industries and depopulation. Cleveland, with its estimated 200 community farms and gardens,was the focus cityfor the research. This study of how greenspace quality, size and configuration affected bee and predatory wasp nesting was part of a long-term, large-scale project for which the team designed different vacant lot management styles in eight neighborhoods across Cleveland.Among 40 of those lots, five greenspace designs were tested for effects on bee and wasp reproduction, with the existing weedy vegetation in lots mowed monthly serving as a control.The analysis showed that a higher abundance of native larvae was associated with the conservation plots surrounded by at least 15 connected acres of additional urban greenspace and more native bee larvae were observed in the flowering prairie.Link to full statement on website: