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Stéphane De Greef

Project Coordinator - Atlas of the Wild Bees of Brussels

Agroecology Lab at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Belgium

Tel: +32 (0)2 650 60 81

Email: stephane.de.greef@ulb.ac.be

Profile & curriculum

MSc in Bioengineering - Forest & Nature Management (FUSAGx1995-2000)

Research interests

  • Urban biodiversity and sustainable urban green spaces management

  • Insects diversity and distribution, with a focus on rediscovering rare species considered extinct or lost for decades

  • Citizen science, science communication and public engagement

Research project

The Atlas of the Wild Bees of Brussels is new research project funded by Brussels Environment (IBGE) and implemented by ULB in collaboration with Natuurpunt, Natagora and RBINS.
 

When we say 'bees', everyone instantly think about the domesticated European honey bees (Apis mellifera), but did you know that there are about 400 species of wild bees in Belgium, about half of which are living with us in Brussels? From the large social bumblebees to often-overlooked sub-centimeter solitary bees nesting in the ground and twigs, all of them play a crucial role in the pollination of our native plants and the functioning of our natural ecosystems, parks and gardens. Unfortunately, some of these species have gone missing for decades and might be extinct, while many more are endangered by the increasingly challenging living conditions of our urban environments.
 

This two-year project aims to better understand the amazing diversity, geographic distribution, population trends and ecological requirements of more than 150 species of wild bees encountered in the Brussels-Capital Region.

In addition to observations of wild bees by ULB, Natuurpunt, Natagora and the online platform Observations.be/Waarnemingen.be, we will rely on the essential work of citizen scientists and the general public to observe and collect bee specimens all over Brussels. This information will allow us to better understand what bees are still present in 2019, to assess which species are striving or struggling and why, in the process rediscovering species that have not been seen in decades. Based on all these findings, we will provide recommendations for the conservation of wild bees in Brussels, including how we can all work together to concretely help our native pollinators by providing them with food plants and nesting areas.

 

At the end of the project, we will release an illustrated atlas of more than 150 species of bees encountered in Brussels, with pictures, description, distribution, natural history and much more!

Publications

- De Greef S.; Estrada-Álvarez J.C., 2018, First record of Capucina patula (Walker, 1871) (Blattodea: Blaberidae: Zetoborinae) for Panama; a new location to understand its distribution. Revista científica CENTROS, 15 June 2018 – Vol. 7 No.1, pp 68-73. ISSN: 2304-604X.

- Ascher J. et al, 2016, A report on the bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Anthophila) of Cambodia. Cambodian Journal of Natural History 2016(1):23–39.

- Peeters C.; De Greef S., 2015, Predation on large millipedes and self-assembling chains in Leptogenys ants from Cambodia. Insectes Sociaux 08/2015; 62.

- Hartmann T., Betts A., De Greef S.,· Ihlow F., 2014, First record of the rare parachute gecko Ptychozoon trinotaterra Brown, 1999 from Cambodia. Cambodian Journal of Natural History 2014 (1) 12–13.

- Penny D.,·Chevance J., Tang D.,· De Greef S., 2014, The Environmental Impact of Cambodia's Ancient City of Mahendraparvata (Phnom Kulen). PLOS ONE 9(1):E84252 · Jan 2014.

- Evans D. et al., 2013, Uncovering archaeological landscapes at Angkor using lidar. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 110(31), 12595-12600. 2012

- Wegnez P., Lommelen E., De Greef S., Hardy M., Timmermann M., Ignace D., 2013, Résultats du premier inventaire des Formicidae dans la vallée de la Semois. Entomologie faunistique - Faunistic Entomology, Volume 66 (2013), 117-122.

- Wegnez P., De Greef S., Degache S., Ignace D., Dekoninck W., 2011, Observations récentes de la fourmi Formicoxenus nitidulus (NYLANDER, 1846) en Belgique et en France (Hyménoptère Formicidae). Bulletin de la Société royale belge d'Entomologie - Bulletin S.R.B.E./K.B.V.E. 147:20-27.

- Wegnez P., Ignace D., De Greef S., Durieux G., 2010, Formica truncorum Fabricius, 1804, une nouvelle espèce pour la myrmécofaune belge (Hymenoptera Formicidae). Bulletin de la Société Royale Belge d'Entomologie - Bulletin S.R.B.E./K.B.V.E.  146: 15-18.

- Gazin, P.; Plard-Rodrigo C.; Uong, C.; De Greef, S., Rhis, B.; Legros, P., 2006, Female Prostitutes in Phnom Penh, Cambodia: changes in Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices between 2000 and 2004. Medecine tropicale 66(2):157-61, April 2006.

All publications are available upon request or through ResearchGate.