Bees play a key role in natural and agro-ecosystems and their diversity is worldwide threatened by anthropogenic causes. Despite this, there is little awareness of the existence of the numerous species of wild bees, and the common name “bee” is very often exclusively associated with Apis mellifera. Our aim was to create a citizen science project in Italy with the following objectives: (a) raising awareness of the importance and diversity of bees, (b) obtaining data on the biology, ecology and distribution of Italian species, and (c) launching the monitoring of alien bees. The first step of the project was to create a website platform with a section containing informative datasheets of the wild bee families and of the most common bee genera present in Italy, a form to send reports of observed bees and an interactive map with all citizen’s reports. During the 2 years of the project 1086 reports were sent by 269 users, with 38 Apoidea genera reported on 190 plant genera; furthermore, 22 reports regarding the alien species Megachile sculpturalis arrived. The majority of bees (34 genera) were observed on spontaneous plants, including 115 genera native to Italy. Considering the increasing number of reports and data obtained in these first two years of the project, our objectives seem to be achieved. Future steps will be to outline the profile of beewatchers, to plan activities in a more targeted way, and also to start some sub-projects for conservation purposes.

Beewatching: A project for monitoring bees through photos

Galloni M.
Penultimo
;
2021

Abstract

Bees play a key role in natural and agro-ecosystems and their diversity is worldwide threatened by anthropogenic causes. Despite this, there is little awareness of the existence of the numerous species of wild bees, and the common name “bee” is very often exclusively associated with Apis mellifera. Our aim was to create a citizen science project in Italy with the following objectives: (a) raising awareness of the importance and diversity of bees, (b) obtaining data on the biology, ecology and distribution of Italian species, and (c) launching the monitoring of alien bees. The first step of the project was to create a website platform with a section containing informative datasheets of the wild bee families and of the most common bee genera present in Italy, a form to send reports of observed bees and an interactive map with all citizen’s reports. During the 2 years of the project 1086 reports were sent by 269 users, with 38 Apoidea genera reported on 190 plant genera; furthermore, 22 reports regarding the alien species Megachile sculpturalis arrived. The majority of bees (34 genera) were observed on spontaneous plants, including 115 genera native to Italy. Considering the increasing number of reports and data obtained in these first two years of the project, our objectives seem to be achieved. Future steps will be to outline the profile of beewatchers, to plan activities in a more targeted way, and also to start some sub-projects for conservation purposes.
Flaminio S.; Ranalli R.; Zavatta L.; Galloni M.; Bortolotti L.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/843285
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