Working with the bees
Bees (Apoidea Apiformis) are extremely diversified. There are almost 1000 wild species in France, as well as the honey bee raised by beekeepers (also known as the domestic bee). 2500 different species are known in Europe and close to 20 000 have been recorded throughout the world.
No study has every been carried out in Greater Lyon to give the exact number of bee species present. We estimate that in the four different types of environments given, and over the four years of data collection, we will be able to identify 100 to 250 species of bee.
At first, we will evaluate the abondance and the diversity of the wild bee populations present in the agglomeration of Greater Lyon and its surroundings (urban, peri-urban, agricultural and semi-natural zones).
Special attention will be paid to interaction between these bees with local flora (indigenous, exotic, cultivated), and also with habitat (building material and nesting sites).
Since little is known about wild bees in France, this part is essential to pin-point the methods and the approaches that should be carried out for restoration and conservation. Moreover, this work will help identify the food sources and resources available in urban and peri-urban spaces.
The protocole simplified
During four years, data is collected once a month, at each of the 24 sites. Data is recorded by INRA and Arthropologia members. Two methods are used, quantitative (colour-coded dishes) and qualitative (capture by net).
In 2012, special nets will be set up at the openings of nests to capture specimens for data collection.
The bees are then prepared (mounted and labelled) for identification. Once they are divided into family and genre, they are either put into their species category on the field, or, sent to specialists of the genre in question, in other countries in Europe. During the four year study, we hope to collect an estimation of 18 000 specimens in the four different environments. As new data come in, and analyses are made, the findings will be posted on this site.
A method of data collection used in the protocol of the UrbanBees research
programme : a coloured dish filled with a mixture of water and detergent is left on the site for 24 hours.