Europe has become a fragmented continent, due to land use changes such as agricultural intensification, development of infrastructure and urban development. Urban areas have been becoming a more and more prominent feature of our landscapes, and more than 75% of the population in Europe now lives in cities. This development shows the growing demand for creation of green infrastructure and green spaces in urban and peri-urban areas of cities all over Europe.

Today, we will introduce you to a Danish social enterprise, which is contributing positively to green infrastructure. The Copenhagen based Bybi, is not only boosting urban bee populations, but also tackles unemployment and the loss of environmental knowledge. As a not-for-profit association, Bybi reinvests all its revenues in new social and environmental activities. Bybi started in 2010 as a honey factory in central Copenhagen. The enterprise made use of a scheme, obtaining unused municipal space for free, in return for committing to employ people, which have been unemployed for a long time and find it difficult to set a foot into the job market.

Bybi is working with public partners, but also collaborated with local businesses. These pay Bybi for setting up bee hives on their grounds and rooftops. Through these activities Bybi brought more than 5 million bees to Copenhagen, established more than 20 urban bee gardens, trained 50 new beekeepers and produced many tons of high quality honey products. Besides, Bybi is organizing workshops “My City, my Bees” for school children, where these can explore nature in a practical way, through meeting “their” bees.

The holistic approach of Bybi not only contributes to protecting and enhancing green spaces and vegetation in urban areas, but also generates benefits for society and therefore is a truly inspiring example of how local action is possible and how it can make a change.

© Bybi