Help us survey the wild bees of Brussels!
We will need YOU to track bees and submit your observations and specimens in 2019-2020, contributing to the scientific knowledge of wild bees of Brussels and helping us rediscover species considered rare or extinct.
You can help us in two ways: by sharing your observations with us or by collecting specimens on our behalf.
Sharing your observations
If you encounter wild bees in your garden or during a walk in the Brussels region, you can share your observations with us fast, simply and easily. The most important thing is to provide the following information:
photos of the bee from several angles (if possible dorsal, profile, face from front)
date and exact location where you observed it (address or GPS coordinates)
your observations (was the bee building a nest, in what type of environment, with what materials, or foraging, on which host plant?)
Then share your observations via Waarnemingen.be (available in English and many other languages) or via our mobile applications ObsMapp for Android and iObs for iOS. You can easily add observations during your walks and your smartphone will automatically add the exact coordinates by GPS, date and time, in addition to the photographs that will allow our experts to identify the species you will encounter.
You do not have a smartphone / tablet or you prefer to communicate your observations differently? You can always contact us by e-mail.
Collect specimens for our experts
It is often difficult, and sometimes impossible, to identify a bee solely on the basis of images, especially if the bee has been photographed from afar, with a smartphone or from a single viewpoint. This is why our inventories often require the collection and conservation of bees in a collection in order to identify them to the species level, to carry out genetic and toxicological studies and keep voucher specimens of bee populations for the decades to come. These captures are essential for science, and a recent study has shown that repeated, lethal sampling of wild bees by net and pan-trapping didn't have an impact on the abundance, diversity and composition of wild bee populations. Most bees live as adults only for a few weeks or months and many are killed by predators or human activities others than capture. Traveling by car or public transport, mowing your lawn or removing weeds from your garden all have a greater impact on bee populations than catching a few dozen bees a few times a month. It is, in many ways, like taking a blood sample: it's rather unpleasant but essential to take a fraction of your blood to assess your health status and establish a proper diagnosis before giving treatment.
So you can help us by collecting wild bee specimens using a butterfly net (Maunakea, Amazon), coloured pan traps or any other legal harvesting method (outside nature reserves, Natura 2000 areas and other protected places). For each specimen collected, record the date, location, method of capture and host plant.
Place the specimens in a small container with a paper or cardboard label where you'll write all collection information with a pencil, then keep them in the freezer and contact us to transfer them to us. Each specimen collected by you and sent to our ULB researchers will be identified, added to the university's entomological collections under your name, and included as observation in the future atlas.
Collector: Alix Tiday
Captured by net on 24 June 2019
Avenue Latinis 595
1030 Schaerbeek, Belgium
on a Malva sylvestris in my garden
Exchange with experts on social networks
If you live in Brussels and are interested in wild bees, pollinators, insects, nature, gardening or the environment in general, we will communicate regularly on social networks about the bees of our region, teach you how to recognize certain species or take better pictures for your observations. We will also keep you posted about our surveys so you can join us and learn about bees from experts in the field!
Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to receive updates about the atlas and join our WildBnB Community to chat with our experts and ask your questions about bees!
We need your help to carry out this project!