Some allotment gardeners and some farmers would certainly have shaken their heads if the results had been different. Because the bird who is currently clearing cherry trees again in many places and thinks that a portion of guano on the remaining fruit is the appropriate payment was also up for election as “Garden Animal of the Year”. But the star did not win the vote organized by the Sielmann Foundation based in Duderstadt and Elstal near Berlin, but the blue-black carpenter bee, Xylocopa violacea.
It is the largest wild bee found in Germany, at up to 28 millimeters much longer than worker bumble bees, for example. According to the foundation, she received 33 percent of the votes. 4400 people took part accordingly. Squirrels and peacock butterflies followed. There were also the may beetle and the sap beetle – a little-known centipede that got the fewest votes.
With this campaign, the foundation, which the animal filmmaker Heinz Sielmann (1917-2006) founded himself, wants to draw attention to the decline in biological diversity. 37 million Germans own a garden, according to foundation spokeswoman Nora Künkler to the German Press Agency. The potential of gardens as natural oases is “huge”, with a natural design and the avoidance of herbicides and insecticides “you can attract numerous animal garden guests”.
It is well known that this works well in many places at the Star. In addition to avoiding poisons, nesting boxes also contribute to this. It also helps wild bees, which live as loners, to offer them places to lay their eggs. Carpenter bees, for example, benefit from dead wood, regardless of whether it is built into the shed or simply as a stack or heap. As nesting aids for a wide variety of bee species whose larvae grow in wood, pieces of wood, reeds and twigs of pith-bearing plants that are moderately protected from direct rain, are attached elevated and have holes of various diameters are also suitable. However, many wild bee species simply need areas that are not dug up because they only build their nests in sand and earth.