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Buzzing for the City

Right on schedule for World Bee Day on Monday, May 20, 2019, two beekeeping groups will be launched in Osterholz-Tenever and Vahr under the instruction of researchers from the University of Bremen. The initiative stems from a research project, which investigates food production on a district level.

Producing your own food is as much a trend as is resource sharing and beekeeping. It is common knowledge that bees find a higher diversity of flowers in cities and thus have better conditions of living than in the countryside. Furthermore, it is also known that over 80 percent of the honey that we consume is imported. By way of real laboratories, in this case real beehives, Carolin Johannsen, Thorsten Kluß and Marie-Helene Wichmann are investigating whether joint cultivation of honeybee colonies can aid self-sufficiency in cities in a substantial manner. They are all employees of the interdisciplinary research project Urban Agriconnect (UagriCo) at the University of Bremen.

Two New Groups Are Being Launched

Currently, two beekeeping groups are being launched in Osterholz-Tenever, as organized by Treffpunkt Natur & Umwelt e. V. on the premises of the garden project “QuerBeet” in Neuwieder Street, and in the community center in Vahr. These groups will be able to communicate with each other. With the support of the University Sports Center, the researchers started a beekeeping group in the frame of a course in Horn-Lehe a year ago. “Our course leaders are passing the experiences and knowledge from this course to the other groups in a condensed manner. The first bee colonies that have beenlocated in Vahr and Tenever since last summer were developed as offshoots of the group in Horn. One could say that they connect our beekeeping groups across the species”, explained Marie-Helene Wichmann.

App Support for Beekeeping

In order to support the joint beekeeping and the cooperation of the bee fans, the research team, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), is using a communication platform that they developed themselves. “The app Hiverize is offered free of charge to support the beekeepers. With this app you can get in touch with other cooperative beekeeping groups and can keep beehive maps, in which all beekeeping activities can be registered,” Carolin Johannsen explains. “The app is of course available to all other beekeepers for free and we are pleased with every new user!”

Fully Wired Bees

In the future, it is intended that electronics plugged into the bee habitations will deliver real-time information from the bee colonies. “This data can be used by both beekeepers and by researchers to learn more about the processes of bee colonies and thus to be able to provide more previse forecasts for beekeepers. This can not only improve beekeeping for humans but rather make it gentler for the bees”, stated Thorsten Kluß.

Beekeeping for Everyone

Everyone can partake in joint beekeeping. It is not only an advantage that the work and time needed is shared between several people, as beekeeping takes up a lot of time, especially in the summer months, and it is therefore difficult to pair it with full-time work, family and holidays. Additionally, the required knowledge can be gained gradually during the beekeeping. If you are interested in joint beekeeping, contact Treffpunkt Natur & Umwelt e.V. (TNU), Community Center Vahr or the founders of UAgriCo.

Further information:

Additional info about the BMBF-financed research project UAgriCo: (German only) (German only)

Additional info about the app: (German only)


Marie-Helene Wichmann
Department of Anthropology and Cultural Research (IFEK)
University of Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-67617
Email: m.wichmannprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

Thorsten Kluß
Cognitive Neuroinformatics
University of Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-64249
E-mail: toxprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

Carolin Johannsen
Cognitive Neuroinformatics
University of Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218 - 64246
Email: c.johannsenprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

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Beekeeping in cities is gaining significance. A research project at the University of Bremen is introducing interested participants to joint beekeeping.