Buzzing Cities

Why does this place have so much BUZZ anyway?!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. 

Would you rather live in an empty lot, full of scraggly shrubs, or a beautiful urban garden? WAIT, plot twist… you’re a BEE. Where would you make your bee-home in the city?

Frances Sivakoff and team from Ohio State University thought — urban gardens, duh! The researchers selected eight of each habitat type in Cleveland. Then they collected nearly three-thousand bees over three years! What did they find? 

Vacant lots had a greater abundance of bees! Urban gardens had nearly seventy percent fewer of the most common type of worker bee! 

They also watched what flowers the bees visited most. The urban garden’s popular flower? Harvest crops and ornamental flowers! What about vacant lots? Weedy exotic plants! Huh, these bees have simple tastes. 

To maximize conservation efforts, the researchers believe we should maintain vacant lots along with urban gardens. 

Do it for the Bees! Working hard, and staying bumble!


Sivakoff, F.S., Prajzner, S.P., Gardiner, M.M. Unique Bee Communities within Vacant Lots and Urban Farms Result from Variation in Surrounding Urbanization Intensity Sustainability 10, 1926 (2018). doi:10.3390/su10061926