Pollination and Fruit Farms at Lake Constance




Project summary

In the past years, native wild bee populations declined dramatically, which was accompanied by high mortality rates of bees reflecting the landscape’s imbalance. Intensification of land use (e.g. loss of set-aside land, intensified use of grassland, increase of biomass production) is one major reason for this development. This leads to a greener landscape with less blooming plants. Therefore, forage availability for pollinators declines dramatically during the summer months. In order to close this gap in forage supply Lake Constance Foundation, Obst vom Bodensee Vertriebs GmbH and REWE Group, initiated a project.
Fruit growers around Lake Constance create flowering meadows, plant hedges and put up artificial bee nests for wild bees. These measures improve forage supply during the summer and create new habitats. The project demonstrates how environment and nature conservation in cooperation with the private sector can create measurable profit for nature and business at the same time.



Motivation, objectives and target groups

Motivation
REWE Group
- Supporting sustainable product lines in the mass market by awarding the label Pro Planet
Obst vom Bodensee
- Implementing concrete measures to improve environmental performance and to preserve biodiversity on fruit farms and on company premises
Lake Constance Foundation
- Improve forage supply and habitats for pollinating insects

Objectives
- Protecting and improving biodiversity
- Ensure pollination of wild plants
- Development of insect friendly measures in at least 10 pilot companies and implementation of these measures in 40% of the member companies until 2013
- Development of environmental and climate friendly measures in at least 10 pilot companies and implementation of these measures in 40% of member companies until 2013
- Increase sales volume of Pro Planet apples
- Pilot scheme for the development of further initiatives
- Increase forage supply / habitats for pollinating insects
Target Groups
- Fruit farms at Lake Constance
- Consumers



Activities

- Sowing of annual and perennial flower seed mixture
- Planting of native, bee friendly woods
- Extensification of grassland
- Ensure maintenance of fruit orchards
- Offering workshops and field trips for company directors
- Building artifical nests for wild bees with guidance in supervised workshops
- Awarding the Pro Planet label to the project and communicate it’s nature conservation benefits
- Developing, testing and dissemination of a environmental management system for fruit orchards



Project results

At the moment, about 25 people are directly involved in the project at the moment. The expert team is composed of fruit cultivation specialists, several regional nature conservation representatives, bee keepers as well as one wild bee expert.
The 11 pilot companies planted more than 10 hectare of flowering meadows with annual and perennial plants. Additionally, more than 20 artificial nests were installed and about 500 metres of hedges were planted. The project was awarded with the REWE sustainability label Pro Planet.
In 2011 next steps will be to involve other fruit farms in the Lake Constance region as well as from other fruit growing regions in Germany.



Countries affected

Germany



Duration

2010 – 2014



Budget

N / A



Partners

REWE-Group www.rewe-group.com; www.proplanet-label.com
Obst vom Bodensee Vertriebs GmbH www.obst-vom-bodensee.de
Lake Constance Foundation www.bodensee-stiftung.org
Local Beekeeper Associations and Nature Conservation Organisations



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