On 10 October, Sustainability Day, pupils of the Brielle primary school CBS Anker and the deputy mayor of Westvoorne enthusiastically sowed a new ‘Honey Highway’. This spring, a strip of grass alongside the N218 bike path near Geuzenbos in the port of Rotterdam will erupt in a colourful sea of flowers.
Honey Highway is an initiative of the biodynamic beekeeper Deborah Post, and is intended to do something about the massive decline in Dutch bee populations. She wants to cover as many areas in the Netherlands as possible with flowers, particularly unused nature strips – as found alongside motorways and bike paths, for example. Post: “Bees are of vital importance for people. However, many species are currently threatened with extinction due to a lack of food.” That is why yesterday, children from CBS Anker’s Group 8 joined Deputy Mayor Paméla Blok-van Werkhoven to sow flower seed along the verge near Geuzenbos.
This is a joint contribution by the Port of Rotterdam Authority, the Municipality of Westvoorne and Deborah Post in the fight against bee colony collapses in the Netherlands. The seed and the verge were made available by the Port Authority, which is responsible for the management of Rotterdam’s port area. “The Port Authority is constantly working to maintain a healthy and attractive social environment. We want to contribute to this goal wherever we can,” says Port Authority COO Ronald Paul.
Geuzenbos was planted in the 1980s. Intelligent natural forestry has created a range of open spaces filled with woodland plants, young trees and shrubs. As a result, Geuzenbos is starting to look more and more like an authentic natural forest – one where, furthermore, you may actually encounter a tauros, a ‘wild’ cattle crossbreed. Geuzenbos is managed by the Port Authority.
The Dutch bee, bumblebee and butterfly populations are under pressure. While the Netherlands has a lot of green space, our country does not have enough flowers. By sowing road verges with the seed of 44 local perennial wild flower species, we can create a lasting paradise for our bees. The verges will not only look wonderful, but will also form good foraging areas where bees can collect their food (pollen and nectar). Bees form an important link within our food chain.
We are committed to ensuring that the port and its environs are safe, healthy and appealing. We aim to counter climate change while ensuring that the port area makes a significant contribution to Dutch prosperity and employment.