Organized by Green City, with the patronage of the Municipality 1 and the sponsorship of Yves Rocher, the first of three ECO-Meetings focused on biodiversity was held on Wednesday, June 5.
The setting of the meeting was the enchanting Garden of via Tommaso da Cazzaniga, inside the Brera district, WWF’s biodiversity oasis in which Green City Italia is hosted since a few months.
Theme of the first meeting – needless to say! – the bees, real guardians of biodiversity. And who could speak of bees with competence and passion better than Alfredo Fachini, CEO and Scientific Director of B Natural?
In addition to being the first European producer of extracts of propolis and other bee-keeping products, B Natural is in fact the hub of numerous initiatives and projects to protect bees and their invaluable function as “bearers of life”. Cradle and incubator of most of these projects is Bees Republic, a business network created with the aim of encouraging companies, institutions and associations to operate for the protection of bees.
Yes, because bees are dying … An invasive agricultural policies focused on agrochemistry, the destruction of natural habitats in favor of intensive monocultures, reckless industrial and town planning practices and the growing shortage of flowers due to meadows cut too frequently, are making life difficult for bees. A problem that can’t leave us indifferent, because it goes with our own survival. The bees in fact are not only producers of excellent honey, wax and propolis, but they are also indispensable for the pollination of trees, especially fruit trees: their disappearance would mean the disappearance of many fruit and vegetables from our tables!
How to reverse this trend? Among the interest of the varied audience of participants in the Green City meeting, Fachini explained how Bees Republic is developing projects aimed at promoting agricultural and environmental management initiatives to support and protect bees.
The most interesting and promising Bees Republic projects concern the development of an Urban Beekeeping.
Pesticides, herbicides and insecticides widely used in agriculture have in fact made the countryside an inhospitable environment for bees. And, unthinkingly, the cities – polluted, but without pesticides – become a possible refuge for them.
So how to bring bees into the city? The possible placement of the hives are the most varied: parks, roofs, balconies … The bees would return to be precious neighbors, ready to provide not only honey and propolis, but also a perfect (and free!) environmental monitoring tool. As widely demonstrated by several studies, including those of the Polytechnic of Milan, the hive is a sponge, a litmus test of the territory in which it lives: the most effective bio indicator that nature has made available.
In fact, by examining wax, honey, propolis and the bees themselves, is possible to accurately detect the degree of pollution of the environment, in relation to all the main factors of pollution (insecticides, pesticides, heavy metals, chlorides, sulphates and nitrates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, dioxins, PM10).
The experience gained in recent years – in the wake of those carried out in several European cities – has proved the possibility of having important apiaries in city parks (1.500 beehives in the parks around Milan in 2017). Honey and other bee products have been of excellent quality, due to the great environmental biodiversity, and also chemically pure. The extraction, analysis and packaging of the products are carried out by Bees Republic and returned to be marketed under the brand of the municipality or site of origin, with positive effects on it’s the image.
B Natural, within Bees Republic, is ready and willing to structure and support activities of this kind, offering the Municipality an interesting and 100% self-financing tool of conservation and propagation of biodiversity, with tangible impacts on the quality of the environment and the well-being of citizens.