Opening of new Insect Respect compensation areas
On 21st March in 2018, Insect Respect opened new insect-friendly habitats in Bielefeld. Compensation areas have been established on the roof, the ground and on vertical areas on the side of the building on the premises of Reckhaus GmbH & Co. KG.
During the public opening of the compensation areas on 21st March in 2018 in Bielefeld-Sennestadt, Insect Respect biologist Philipp Unterweger emphasized the importance of every single square metre transferred into a compensation area.
Even small areas of field edges and seams, grassland stripes, slopes and banks provide important structures in landscape. “Every edge is a habitat and a bridge to a neighbour”. Edges are connecting grass strips and therefore serve as the skeleton of a functioning ecosystem.
On the newly established Insect Respect areas, a variety of different insects from pollinators, to small herbivores and midges will find new habitat. As the edges are not mowed in winter, they provide hibernation space through flower heads, stems and its entire biomass. Edges are therefore the most important source for beneficial insects in a landscape.
On nearly 900 square metres, flies, bees, midges, butterflies and other beneficial arthropods find sufficient food supplies as well as perfect hiding and hibernation places. 500 square metres on the compensation area are plain green areas with wild shrubs that provide pollen and nectar. Open sand areas and deadwood piles were integrated – a paradise for insects. On cold and rainy days and in case of a predator’s attack, insects will find shelter in these elements.
On the roof of the company’s premises, 370 square metres of compensation areas have been established. They have a substrate thickness of approximately 17 centimetres. So far, mainly humus, expanded clay (granulate-like roof tile gravel), deadwood and stones. Planting will follow soon.
Extensive roof vegetation enriches the building’s architecture in many ways. It serves a variety of benefits for humans, their environment and contributes to sustainability overall: Green areas provide undisturbed habitat and connect green areas. The green areas do not only reduce maintenance costs for the roof, they also serve as storm water retention, shield electromagnetic radiation and reduce costs of energy, waste water and renovation.
Furthermore, house fronts are covered with green layers of grass and plants to provide vertical habitat for insects. The vertical areas are multifunctional; firstly, they provide an extra thermal isolation, and secondly, the leaf masses absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. The plants also absorb particulate matter and reduce the building’s ambient temperature. The areas offer an additional source for food and provide protection for domestic insects. A range of blossoms of climbing and twining plants complements the horizontal compensation areas. During the times when insects cannot find shelter on the latter, they will find one in the colourful blossoms.
In late summer, ivy provides an important food source for insects. The vertical structures also contribute to different functions of the ecosystem such as pollination, water pollution control, air refreshment and climate regulation.
Buzzing fields: impressions of the compensation areas
Insect Respect creates new habitats for insects in urban areas. In the video you can watch species such as farmland bumblebee, red crest, hoverfly, small coal whale and silver-washed fritillary visiting the compensation area in Gais (CH).
Research activities on compensation areas
Which insect species can be found the Insect Respect as compensation areas? In collaboration with the association of westphalian entomologists and the federal research institute for forest, snow and landscape (WSL, biodiversity and nature conservation biology), Insect Respect monitored in 2016 the insect fauna on its compensation areas on the office building of Reckhaus GmbH & Co. KG in Bielefeld (5 years old) and the swiss compensation area in Gais (2 year old).
Florescence at the insect compensation areas!
The first insect compensation areas in Germany and Switzerland are flourishing in many colours. Thus, they attract a lot of insects. Click on the slider above to see some impressions.
View on the first compensation area in the world
The quality mark Insect Respect stands for tranparency for the ecological compensation of biocides. The newest Webcam pictures of the first insect compensation area in the world - on the rooftop of the company Reckhaus GmbH & Co. KG in Bielefeld, Germany, are published regularly here.
View on the first compensation area in Switzerland
For swiss clients, the insect compensation area in Gais (canton AR) guarantees a regional ecological compensation. To make this transparent, newest pictures of the compensation area of the Reckhaus AG are shown here above. Actually, even orchids are blooming at the site (see pic slider on top of this page).
The functioning of an compensation area
How does the greening of a flat roof effect the local biodiversity? What is special about this biotope? Which elements add to the diversity of plants and animals on the roof? And how do you estimate the compensation of biocidal products? In this video, a biologist explains the principles of the INSECT RESPECT® compensation areas (in German).
Historical: The first compensation area was created in Bielfeld, Germany.
Since July 2012 the flat roof of the administration building of Reckhaus GmbH & Co. KG in Bielefeld has been an insect-friendly zone: The first INSECT RESPECT® compensation area. The investment enables extensive planting on 200 m2, in addition supported by little hills and small structures.
In the original condition the roof consisted of a protective film without organic substrate and accommodated no living biomass whatsoever. The new design produces a high-quality living biomass of 20 g/m2. According to the INSECT RESPECT® compensation model this value is adjusted by several corrective factors which corresponds with a potential of 288 g/m2. Multiplied by the 200 m2 of the roof planting the compensation area compensates for the capture of 58'100 g/m2 living biomass. This corresponds for example with an annual production of 35'000 packets of Dr. Reckhaus Fliegen-Scheibe® [fly disk], which served as a basis for calculating the area.
Are you planning the next compensation area? We will be pleased to help you with the conceptual idea and implementation as well as with the application of INSECT RESPECT® to your products. We will also be pleased to support you with the certification of compensation areas. We would be pleased to be able to present you further projects on this page soon.
Historical: The first Swiss Compensation area
On 8th September 2015, the Reckhaus Group opened the first Insect Compensation Area in Switzerland. The prime minister of the Swiss canton Innerrhoden, Roland Inauen, and numerous guests participated in the inauguration.
The vegetated flat roof with its 500 square meters is designed as an ideal habitat for insects. It provides different substrata and structures – such as woodpiles and piles of stones – for a large diversity of animals and plants that are rather rare in the region of the Appenzeller Land. Thus, the area facilitates a compensation of the insect loss that is caused by the utilisation of biocide products.
For further information, please read the press release (in German).