Supporting Bees in Cities: How Bees Are Influenced by Local and Landscape Features
Department of Biology, York University, Toronto, ON M3J 1P3, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Theresa Pitts-Singer, Jonathan B. Koch and Lindsie M. McCabe
Received: 15 December 2020 / Revised: 20 January 2021 / Accepted: 23 January 2021 / Published: 2 February 2021
Cities are complex ecosystems that, while generally contributing to an overall reduction in biodiversity, can support surprisingly unique communities of organisms including bees. Bees are both ecologically and economically essential, therefore preserving and conserving these insects represents a significant challenge as cities continue to expand and diminish surrounding landscapes. Some attempts to support bees in cities have included establishing and improving urban green spaces. Exactly how bees and, to a lesser extent, other pollinators respond to these green spaces in addition to other urban landscape and local features, however, remains incompletely understood. Therefore, this review summarizes the current literature and generalizable trends in pollinator response to urban landscape and local features. While some functional traits or characteristics of bees such as dietary breadth and nesting strategy are more conclusively understood and supported, other characteristics such as sociality remain less generalizable. Lack of knowledge on bee responses to city features is in part due to the individual variation exhibited across different groups and species. To promote greater biodiversity in urban spaces, research should focus on specific responses to urban local and landscape features and how green spaces can be optimized for sustainable bee conservation.