The European Bee Course 2016

Note: I’m not directly involved with this course, I’m just advertising it on behalf of the organisers; please direct any queries to them – details are on the application form (link at the end). 

All of the following text is directly taken from the information that I was sent:

Are you interested in European bees? Join our Super-B training school in Marseille, France in May!


We aim (i) to provide a global overview on the Systematics and the Ecology of European bees including the up-to-date methods; (ii) to train to recognize the morphology of the main European genera by using keys; (iii) to collect wild bees in the field with standard technics (net, pan trap, aspirator); (iv) to prepare a collection of pinned specimens.

THE BEE COURSE is designed primarily for botanists, conservation biologists, pollination ecologists, and other biologists whose research, training, or teaching responsibilities require a greater understanding of bee taxonomy. It emphasizes the classification and identification of more than seventy bee genera of Europe, and the general information provided is applicable to the global bee fauna. Lectures include background information on the biology of bees, their floral relationships, their importance in maintaining and/or improving floral diversity, inventory strategies, and the significance of oligolecty (i.e., taxonomic floral specialization). Field trips acquaint participants with collecting and sampling techniques; associated lab work provides instruction on specimen identification, preparation and labelling.


France, Marseilles, in the beautiful site of the national park of the Calanques:


Super-B budget covers the invitation of the trainers and material. Applicants have to pay for their flights, accommodation (130 euros) and meals (60 euros). A Super-B Grant of 600 EUR is available, this covers all expenses for the course and approximately 300 EUR for a flight.


Arrival the evening of the 16th of May after 6pm, departure the evening of the 20th of May


Co-organised by the University of Mons (Denis Michez) and the University of Aix Marseilles (Benoît Geslin).

5 supervisors: Denis Michez (UMons, Belgium), Nicolas Vereecken (ULB, Belgium), Murat Aytekin (Hacettepe University, Turkey), Stuart Roberts (BWARS, UK) and Benoît Geslin (Université d’Aix-Marseille, France).

15 students, PhD & postdoc in relevant fields will have priority, but undergraduate student can apply.


16th of May from 6pm

Arrival, move to the location with minibus


17th of May

10am: Welcome and presentation of the organization and the goal. Denis Michez

11am: Systematics and diversity of European bees. Denis Michez

12am: Lunch

1pm: Practical courses, determination of bees among insects. All trainers

4pm: Lecture, up-to-date methods to study Bee Systematics. Murat Aytekin

6pm: Dinner


18th of May

10am: How to collect, prepare and determine specimens of long-tongued versus short-tongued bees. Denis Michez

12am: Lunch

1pm: Field trip

4pm: Preparation of the collected material

6pm: Dinner


19th of May

10am: Ecology of bees. Christophe Praz

11am: Bee community. Nicolas Vereecken

12am: Lunch

1pm: Field trip

4pm: Preparation of the collected material

6pm: Dinner


20th of May

10am: Determination of the collected material

12am: Lunch

1pm: Analysis of the data

3pm: Last word

4pm: Departure



Cost project Super-B:

SUPER-B is a COST Action that will bring together scientific and societal communities involved in the conservation and sustainable management of ecosystem services mediated by pollinators. >70 of our crops need insects for optimal pollination; these include many fruits, nuts, oil crops, fibres and vegetables with some producing no yield without insect pollination. The direct economic value of crop pollination by insects in the EU is >14 billion euro annually. Moreover, >80 of wild plant species benefit from animal pollinators for fruit and seed production, making pollination a key service for ecosystem and biodiversity maintenance.

SUPER-B will combine scientific evidence (existing and new knowledge) and social feedback for developing conservation strategies for pollinators. Specifically, the Action will (1) identify the role of insect pollination in agriculture and other ecosystems; (2) clarify best practices for mitigation of pollination loss, and (3) compare and contrast important drivers of pollinator loss (wild and managed species). SUPER-B will contribute towards maintaining natural ecosystems and achieving sustainable use of pollinators in agricultural production. Its results are relevant to all European countries and will be disseminated to a wide community of beneficiaries (scientists, farmers, beekeepers, industry, policy-makers, NGOs and the public).

Here’s the application form for the course:

Bee_course_Cost_Application_form (2)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s