01 Francis Ratnieks – The Benefits of Bees in Urban Areas


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Welcome to the first episode of PolliNation Podcast.

“A hairy vegetarian wasp.”

That’s how professor Francis Ratnieks of the University of Sussex describes the bee.

Professor Ratnieks has done a lot of research on bees, from honeybee biology to practical solutions for beekeepers and homeowners interested in encouraging pollinators.

This wide-ranging interview is full of tips for how to select pollinator plants, reasons for becoming a beekeeper, and common myths that people have about bees.

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“If you a beginning beekeeper, I would greatly advise getting some assistance from an experienced beekeeper.” – Francis Ratnieks

Show Notes:

  • Where Francis got his interest in honeybees
  • Why the advice on honeybees given to the public is not often that good
  • What the benefits are to keeping bees in cities
  • The unique challenges to keeping bees in urban areas
  • Tips for keeping bees in a way that doesn’t bother your neighbors
  • How many bee colonies a city block can support
  • Why planting floral resources may be the best way to save the bees
  • Why foreign species of plants may be just as good for honeybees as local varieties
  • How honeybees can fly up to 12km to find pollinators
  • Dispelling the myths that the public has about bees
  • How to recognize different species of bees
  • Avoiding bee stings and telling the difference between a bee sting and yellow jacket sting
  • What you can do to help bees in urban areas

“Bees only sting if you get close to the hive, not when they are foraging.” – Francis Ratnieks

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