For the second time, ZEITmagazin is drawing on research from the IOER for its series „Deutschlandkarte“. The issue from August 5 focuses on the quality of habitats for wild bees in Germany. The data basis for this was developed at the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER) in cooperation with the University of Applied Science (HTW) in Dresden. For many years, the IOER has been conducting research on ecosystem services, to which wild bees also contribute.
Wild bees fulfill an important ecological and economic function as pollinators of wild and cultivated plants. However, Germany’s agricultural landscapes offer them less and less habitat. Extensively managed meadows and structurally rich areas are declining, and with them the number of wild bees. To investigate regional differences in the quality of wild bee habitats, the IOER developed a Germany-wide database in cooperation with the HTW. An assessment was made of the range of nesting sites and food plants wild bees find. Additionally, it was investigated how well these nesting ad foraging habitats are interconnected. Finally, a map dataset was generated that currently paints a bleak picture of the habitat situation for wild bees in Germany. The dataset is freely available and can be shared with interested parties (for non-commercial use).