Pollinators play a crucial role in our ecosystems by pollinating flowering plants and crops, contributing to the planetary and human well-being. During the past decade, the decline in insect pollinators has become a more and more disturbing issue that countless scientific and public communities are trying to tackle every day.
Published in the Journal of Hymenoptera Research, a new study aims to contribute to updating the knowledge on wild bee diversity in Serbia, necessary for determining conservation priorities and future endeavours at the national level, but also for improving the understanding of the status of European pollinators. The study is also making an attempt to upgrade the exciting data provided by the recently published checklist of European bees, European bees country records, and, focusing on Serbia, a preliminary list of 706 bee species.
To do that, researchers used data from the implementation of the national project SPAS, and within the EU-funded project Safeguard. With the aim of monitoring the diversity and abundance of insect pollinators in Serbia, 54 sites were surveyed three times throughout the 2022 season.
The transect walks and pan traps used for the assessment led to the discovery of 312 bee species. Results show that 25 of these have not been previously recorded for Serbia. Furthermore, the study confirms the presence of 26 species, without any available records from the 21st century.
The authors also share that 79 of the examined species were known only from literature-based data and six of the recorded species are considered threatened with 67 (10 newly recorded) assessed as Data Deficient in the European Red List of Bees. In addition, the study manages to achieve the goal of updating the current knowledge of bee species occurring in Serbia. By recording 25 new species, the Safeguard study successfully extends the national list with new recordings – from 706 to 731 species.
This new study not only presents new records of bee species in Serbia and confirms some old ones, but also provides additional information about European distribution, required for new assessment at the European level.
Mudri-Stojnić S, Andrić A, Józan Z, Likov L, Tot T, Grković A, Vujić A (2023) New records for the wild bee fauna (Hymenoptera, Anthophila) of Serbia. Journal of Hymenoptera Research 96: 761-781. https://doi.org/10.3897/jhr.96.107595