Koos Biesmeijer

Koos Biesmeijer

Koos Biesmeijer is the scientific director of Naturalis Biodiversity Center. He is also the head of the research group NL Biodiversity and Society in Naturalis and professor of Natural Capital at Leiden University. He co-operates with many scientific and societal partners to improve the Dutch landscape for pollinators and biodiversity in general. He is advisor on biodiversity at the province of Zuid Holland and vice-chair of the nature conservation organization Natuurmonumenten.


Natural capital, ecosystem services, biodiversity change, conservation, social (bee) behaviour, bees and beekeeping

Prof. Dr. Koos Biesmeijer

Scientific director
Professor of Natural Capital
NL Biodiversity and Society

+31 (0)71 751 9259


I am an ecologist working on biodiversity change for 20 years with a focus on interactions between pollinators and plants. I was the first to documented large-scale linked pollinator and plants declines (Biesmeijer et al. 2006 in Science) and am leading research on sustainable crop pollination in the UK and Europe, am involved in research on drivers of pollinator change and urban pollinators as well as native honeybees, the impact of fragmentation on native pollinators and the impact of invasive plants on ecosystems.

After a PhD and Postdoc in tropical bee ecology at Utrecht University (Netherlands), I investigated honeybee ecology and communication at Cornell University (USA) and declines in European plants and pollinators at Leeds University. Currently, I am working at Naturalis Biodiversity Center where I lead a team studying functional biodiversity, ecosystem services and biodiversity change. My activities often involve international partners (EU, UK, India, Brazil, Kenya), organizations (FAO, Apimondia, IUCN), industry and research networks.

I believe that, as a scientist, one has the obligation to find ways to make knowledge useful for our society and to inform decision-makers about important issues. In my case, this is biodiversity. Even the restricted topic of pollinators and pollination touches upon many different sectors and societal stakeholders (e.g. agriculture, chemical industry food security, science, nature conservation, beekeeping, economy). Making a difference is, therefore, a real challenge.

Koos in the field
Tropical pollinators


A selection of the topics I am working on currently.

ARISE logo

ARISE: knowing Nature in the Netherlands

In the ARISE project, Naturalis, together with the Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute and the universities of Amsterdam and Twente, is building an infrastructure that knows and recognizes all (multicellular) Dutch species. Every species, every sample…
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Groene cirkels

Green Circles

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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logo Dutch National Pollinator Initiative

National Bee Strategy

As Naturalis Biodiversity Center we are an advising partner of the Dutch National Pollinator Initiative which brings together all of the bee supporting initiatives. For more information see: National Bee Strategy .
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Eucera longicornis

Flowering Arches

Bee-friendly planting. The 'Flowering Arches', or 'Bloeibogen in Dutch, application provides insight into the common bee species and their food availability in a selected area in The Netherlands and provides specific plant advice. The tool uses…
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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. This project will end in december 2022.
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  • Biesmeijer, J. C., Roberts, S. P., Reemer, M., Ohlemüller, R., Edwards, M., Peeters, T., ... & Settele, J. (2006). Parallel declines in pollinators and insect-pollinated plants in Britain and the Netherlands. Science313(5785), 351-354.
  • Potts, S. G., Biesmeijer, J. C., Kremen, C., Neumann, P., Schweiger, O., & Kunin, W. E. (2010). Global pollinator declines: trends, impacts and drivers. Trends in ecology & evolution25(6), 345-353.
  • Dauber, J., Biesmeijer, J. C., Gabriel, D., Kunin, W. E., Lamborn, E., Meyer, B., ... & Settele, J. (2010). Effects of patch size and density on flower visitation and seed set of wild plants: a pan‐European approach. Journal of Ecology98(1), 188-196.
  • Potts, S. G., Ngo, H. T., Biesmeijer, J. C., Breeze, T. D., Dicks, L. V., Garibaldi, L. A., ... & Vanbergen, A. (2016). The assessment report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services on pollinators, pollination and food production.
  • González-Varo, J. P., Biesmeijer, J. C., Bommarco, R., Potts, S. G., Schweiger, O., Smith, H. G., ... & Vilà, M. (2013). Combined effects of global change pressures on animal-mediated pollination. Trends in ecology & evolution28(9), 524-530.


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    Bombus ruderarius