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January 19, 2023 3 min read

Bees are Getting Busy at UK Bus Stops 

It’s no secret that we need bees in order to continue our stay on planet earth. Of course, with bee populations dropping drastically, places like the UK are stepping up in a big way.

With cities booming, the UK put on their thinking caps to get the flowers back blooming. Without extra space to plant gardens in busy cities, every square inch of unused space was taken into account - including the tops of bus stops. 

That’s right! Bus shelters are no longer just to keep humans protected from the elements while waiting for their ride. 

These fancy little bee and butterfly sanctuaries are called bee bus stops and we’re simply buzzing to tell you all about them!

What is a Bee Bus Stop?

The bee bus stop is quite literally a garden built for the bees on the roof of a bus stop shelter. The gardens are filled with plants that pollinators love including poppies, pansies, and even wild strawberries. 

To maximize the wildlife advantage of these little gardens, native flowers are also chosen to attract different pollinators for diversity. 

The gardens are also very low maintenance, requiring weeding and trimming only twice per year. 

Where Will They Be?

There are already bee bus stops popping up in cities including Newcastle, Oxford, and Glasgow, but the little gardens are expected to increase by 50% in the coming year. 

Clear Channel (the organisers behind these bus stop beauties) is eager to set up ‘at least 1000’ across the UK before 2023 comes to a close. 

Of course, like any other sustainable act, breaking down perfectly good shelters in favour of the new ones isn’t waste-wise. As you can imagine, the shelters with gardens on top need quite a bit of extra strength to hold up the weight of the soil when filled with rainwater. 

Due to this, only bus shelters that are due to be replaced are seeing the new garden stops being built. This is great news for reducing unnecessary waste, even though it may slow the project down a bit in the meantime. 

What Can We Expect from Bee Bus Stops?

Why are these bee stops so important? The first and most obvious benefit is the preservation of important pollinators. Of course, the benefits don’t stop there.

Gardens filled with thirsty plants can also help absorb rainwater which in turn helps offset the urban heat island effect. 

The presence of plants in high-pollution areas can also potentially contribute to better air quality and increased resident happiness! Besides, who doesn’t love a little nature on their daily commute to work?

And finally, these bee stops aren’t just for UK soil! Europe, Canada, and Australia are all jumping on the trend already and we’re sure more and more around the world will jump aboard the bee bus soon enough!

Start Your Own Bee Bus Stop...

While bus stops are being upgraded, there’s nothing stopping us from jumping on the bee bus ourselves and creating pollinator-friendly gardens to draw in bees and butterflies in our communities.

Even if you live in an apartment or wouldn’t call yourself a ‘green thumb’ simple bee-friendly gardens can be easy and fun to grow on your patio or in well-placed pots.

Urban Greens offer a variety of seed balls that are easy to grow and perfect for beginners, low-maintenance lovers, or gifting to a friend to spread the bee bus magic. Don’t forget to share your pollinator success with us below so we can celebrate with you too!

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