Buzzing with ideas: Amsterdam may start licencing bee hives

Amsterdam city council wants to reduce the number of beehives within the city boundaries, arguing that the type of bee kept for honey production is forcing out wild bees.

The city is currently drawing up rules to reduce the number of beehives and this could include a licencing system or even bee hive-free zones, the Parool reported on Wednesday.

Researchers at the EIS foundation, which specialises in insects and invertebrates, say wild bees are being disadvantaged by the current number of honey bee colonies in the capital because they are all competing for the same food.

They estimate there are six to seven honey bee colonies per square kilometer in Amsterdam, while research shows that wild bees suffer if there are four or more.

More than half of the 360 wild bee types in the Netherlands are on the list of highly endangered species, and are being threatened by nitrogen pollution and insecticides used in farming. Wild bees have a crucial role in pollinating plants for food.

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