“We are constantly reshaping our environment to meet our needs, forgetting that other species also live in it,” Agnes Lyche Melvaer, head of the Bybi, an environmental group supporting urban bees, which is leading the project.
“To correct that we need to return places to them to live and feed,” she explained, sitting on a bench in a lush city centre square bursting with early Nordic summer growth.
With its sunflowers, marigolds and other nectar-bearing flowers planted by bee-loving locals and school children, Abel’s Garden was until recently covered only in grass but is now a floral “feeding station” for bees.
Oslo’s “bee highway” aims to give the insects a safe passage through the city, lined with relays providing food and shelter – the first such system in the world, according to the organisers.
Participants in the project – state bodies, companies, associations and private individuals – are invited to post their contribution on a website (polli.no), which maps out the bees’ route across the city.
On the 12th floor of an ultra-modern office block in the capital’s chic business district on the edge of Oslo fjord, a major accountancy firm has covered parts of its terrace in brightly-flowering Sedum plants and two bee hives.