A survey and review of the status of wild bees in the West-Palaearctic regionSébastien Patiny1, Pierre Rasmont2 and Denis Michez2
1 Entomologie fonctionnelle et évolutive, Faculté universitaire des Sciences Agronomiques de Gembloux, Passage des déportés 2, 5030 Gembloux, Belgium
2 Laboratoire de Zoologie, Pentagone, Université de Mons-Hainaut, place du Parc, 20, 7000 Mons, Belgium
Received 10 October 2008 – Revised 19 January 2009 – Accepted 12 February 2009 - Published online 7 July 2009
Abstract - Bees (a.k.a. Apoidea Anthophila) are among the main pollinators in most ecosystems. The yearly value of the ecological services provided worldwide by pollinators reaches more than 150 billion. As in many other groups, the erosion of bee diversity is now a well-assessed reality. However, quantification of the phenomenon, including the assessment of its extent and severity has been lacking for a long time. In the West-Palaearctic, the decrease in wild bees has been highlighted in several studies over the last few decades. Specifically, the plight of a few populations of bees in Europe has been measured and assessed. In this paper, we review the state of the knowledge of bee diversity in the West-Palaearctic. We present the available resources usable for estimation of the extinction risk in West-Palaearctic bees. We also point out the work that is needed to outline a holistic picture of West-Palaearctic bee diversity. We conclude by suggesting that former initiatives should be integral in developing the framework of a subregion-wide monitoring program for bees.
Key words: diversity / taxonomy / West-Palaearctic / Europe / Apoidea
© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2009