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A survey and review of the status of wild bees in the West-Palaearctic region
- Patiny, Sébastien, Rasmont, Pierre, Michez, Denis
- Apidologie 2009 v.40 no.3 pp. 313-331
- Apoidea, ecological value, ecosystems, extinction, monitoring, pollinators, risk, Europe
- 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.