Pollinator Ecology

Pollination by bee

Pollinators are crucial for the natural environment and for food production – so also for mankind. We aim to use the results of our research directly in societal projects and include citizen science and awareness in our work. Our research activities are a mix of direct (ecological) field studies and of advanced species distribution modelling. Every year, we have multiple students successfully finishing their internships -either contributing to ongoing research or doing their own research on pollinators.

work here

The Pollinator Ecology group is led by prof. Koos Biesmeijer and contains several researchers all working on pollinator projects. We have multiple students doing internships here working on a broad range of subjects diverging from ecological scientific research to testing methods of citizen science. Students learn competences like: species recognition, general fieldwork skills, data analysis using statistics and public outreach skills.

Pollinator Ecology group excursion (June 2019)


Important projects that were done in the past were the Honeybee surveillance project in cooperation with Wageningen University; a 4 year project where we looked at the honeybee health in the Netherlands, Big data for bees, where we organized meetings with experts and participants of the Nationale Bijenstrategie to look for applications for big data. The SuperB project; a European broad network project supported by the EU to maintain a network of bee scientists in over 32 countries. 

Species distribution modelling

In the Pollinator Ecology group, species distribution modelling plays a large role as a method in research. ing. Maarten van ‘t Zelfde, Leon Marshall and Jesus Aguirre Gutierrez use this method to make predictions about future distribution of pollinating species. Using this information they are able to advise municipalities in for instance the Nederland zoemt project.

Our programmes
& research themes

A selection of the main topics we are working on.

Nederland Zoemt Logo

Nederland Zoemt

Citizen science project in which measures taken for bees and pollinators are promoted. Cooperation with different partners and different targetgroups in the Netherlands.
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Groene cirkels

Groene Cirkels

New way of working together with companies and local governments combined in one big network. Working together to achieve a circulair and sustainable economy.
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Nationale bijenstrategie logo

Nationale Bijenstrategie

As Naturalis Biodiversity Center we are an advising partner of the Dutch National Pollinator Initiative which brings together all of the bee supporting initiatives.
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Eucera longicornis


Makes information about bees and their food plants publicly available to improve and enrich wild bee research all over the world.
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Solar panels

Solar park diversity

Cooperation with Solar park Shell Moerdijk where we investigate how we can improve the park's insect-diversity by testing different seed mixtures sown under the solar panels.
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Logo Natuurmonumenten

Natuurmonumenten project

As a collaboration of Naturalis, EIS and Natuurmonumenten, this project tries to identify the importance of small protected areas for biodiversity and species distribution possibilities.
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Pollinator Ecology

Naturalis aims to be a breeding ground for international scientific talent. Therefore, students have a special position in our organisation.

    Bombus ruderarius