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Institute of

BD Biodiversity


Development of a nationwide bumblebee monitoring scheme

Bumblebee on a Phacelia plant
© Thünen-Institut/Josephine Kulow
Bumblebee on a Phacelia plant

Conception and development of a nationwide bumblebee monitoring scheme

Due to their sensitivity to environmental changes, bumblebees are suitable to indicate changes in agricultural landscapes. Therefore, a nationwide bumblebee monitoring scheme will be developed that allows conclusions to draw about cause-effect relationships.

Background and Objective

Bumblebees are suitable state and impact indicators due to their presence in agricultural landscapes and their sensitivity to changing environmental conditions. Since the 1950s, bumblebee species have been in sharp decline worldwide. The main causes are considered to be changes in agricultural production systems and farming practices as well as a decrease in landscape heterogeneity. In order to be able to relate these changes to the population trends of bumblebees, a nationwide uniform monitoring scheme for recording bumblebees in agricultural landscapes is to be developed.


Based on the evaluation of existing monitoring approaches for recording of bumblebees in Germany and in neighbouring European countries, a nationwide uniform monitoring scheme will be developed as agreed upon with experts and the federal states. The monitoring scheme should provide reliable information on the state and development of bumblebee populations in agricultural landscapes and at the same time investigate the underlying causes of their decline. Therefore, the monitoring scheme will be designed modularly, so that it will provide valuable information on used food resources (pollen analysis) in addition to the species spectrum and abundances. Moreover, it will be investigated to what extent population genetic approaches are suitable to evaluate the impact of agri-environmental measures, such as perennial flowering strips or areas.

Funding Body

  • Federal Ministry of Food und Agriculture (BMEL)
    (national, öffentlich)


10.2019 - 12.2023

More Information

Project status: ongoing

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