On September 29, 2021, the New Aquitaine Region invited the LIFE team to present the project at a conference organized by them.
Regional Natural Parks associated to carry out management actions on their territory
Species of wild bees in France
Years of program
The LIFE Wild Bees project
The Government has drawn up a National Plan “Pollinators” (2021-2026), animated at national level, among others, by the Office for the Insectes and their Environment(Opie). In coherence, the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region committed itself in June 2017 to the implementation of a Regional Plan for pollinators.
In this context, the five Regional Natural Parks (PNR) of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, accompanied by the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, have decided to reflect together on an inter-Pnr action plan to limit this decline and allow the maintenance of the pollination service on their territories.
The re-creation of a dense network of favourable habitats
The development and structuring of a proposal for plants and seeds of local origin
Transmission and promotion of good practices
Project coodination :
Périgord-Limousin Regional Natural Park
Associated beneficiaries :
Regional Natural Park of Marais-Poitevin, Médoc, Millevaches in Limousin and Landes de Gascogne.
A research laboratory, INRAE, as well as 2 associative partners, the Office for Insects and their Environment
and the Regional Agency for Biodiversity of Nouvelle-Aquitaine.
The wild bees are so called as opposed to the honey bee (Apis mellifera). Unlike the latter, wild bees constitute a vast taxonomic group, extremely rich in terms of biology and ecology, which includes nearly 990 species in France and more than 2000 species throughout Europe. Worldwide, it is estimated that there are more than 20,000 species.
How many species of wild bees exist ?
Wild bees constitute a vast taxonomic group, extremely rich in terms of biology and ecology, which includes nearly 990 species in France and more than 2000 species throughout Europe. Worldwide, it is estimated that there are more than 20,000 species.
What is their diet ?
Adult bees as well as larvae feed exclusively on resources collected from flowers, nectar and pollen :
Pollen provides them with proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins and mineral elements.
Nectar is a source of water and sugar
How do they nest ?
Unlike the organization in large colonies of several thousand individuals of the honeybee (Apis mellifera), wild bees generally live alone even if some individuals form small villages. We can find, mainly, bees :
Terricolated bees, they can be found in lawns, under grass, or on trails continuously used by walkers, bicycles, ….
Squatting bees, some bees have a great ability to adapt and can settle in various types of natural or artificial crevices
Carpenter bees, these bees will come to dig their nests in the soft wood wormed or in the process of decomposition
Curular bees, these species do not dig their own nest but take advantage of stems already evided, such as those used in insect hotels (reeds, cane of Provence, …).
How can we encourage the presence of wild bees in our gardens?
What do wild bees need to settle permanently?
For a population of a species of wild bee to be maintained over the long term, the habitat must offer the following three elements :
food resources, i.e. a sufficient supply of flowers,
favorable micro-habitats (bare soil, dead wood or even hollow stems),
for some species, some specific materials for the construction of the nest.
How can we promote flowery environments in our gardens?
- Let nature take its course by staggering the mowing periods and leaving a few areas without mowing to help maintain a flowery environment.
- Do not use phytosanitary products
- If replanting is necessary, favor local species and species. For this, some nurseries offer plants and seeds of local origin under the “Végétal local” brand.
- Diversify habitats by creating water points or hedgerows.
What arrangements should be made to offer them lodgings?
Several simple arrangements are possible:
- Pile up sandy soil, on a sunny area, against a wall or on the ground
- Build seamless dry stone walls
- Keep small piles of dead branches on the ground
- Keep thickets of plants with hollow stems such as brambles or gorse?