An online platform to help you with
There have been almost no activity on IDmyBee since summer 2020 due to various reasons, from Covid to a flourish of new projects on wild bees happening all at the same time and that have taken most of our time, and the failure to get funding to develop IDmyBee identification tools.
But even if there is nothing to show, things are happening and IDmyBee should change in 2023.
First, the European commission funded the development of taxonomic resources for wild bees through the project ORBIT, led by Denis Michez from Mons University. This project started mi-2021.
The European commission also funded SPRING, to monitor pollinators, including wild bees.
Both of these projects have initiated the improvement of identification resources for wild bees, at different scales and for different publics. It is a work in progress, as everything takes time, but it should lead in the coming months to the update of the species list of European genera, and to the improvement of the IDmyBee-genera identification tool.
Finally, the french national research agency funded a research project dedicated to the identification of wild bees in France, which should help the development of IDmyBee for some of the genera.
So stay tuned, and reach out if you want to help us document wild bee species and improve our ability to identify them.
I finally found some time to update the website and add a couple of dozen new citations with identification keys. Thank you to all the contributors, now we have more that 220 documents with identification keys readily accessible in the bibliography! Many of those have their pdf online thanks to Atlas Hymenoptera and Zobodat. Don't forget to check these websites, if you haven't yet.
And we now have a couple of pictures to illustrate Lasioglossum thanks to Justyna Kierat! Which reminds me: if you have pictures of wild bees and you would like to help this project, please contact us. Any help is welcome.
Also, good news, in case you missed it there are 3 new species of Andrena published recently by Thomas Wood, with identification keys to the iberian species of the corresponding subgenera. Kudos Thomas!
Jan Smit also helped update the Nomada list with some new species and recent ones that he published with Max and other colleagues and that we had missed. Thank you!
We are missing many pictures right now and we lack this talent in the current team. We could really use help to better illustrate the different genera and their characteristics.
Finally, Matthieu Aubbert published online an identification key of Eucera species. It is in french, but it is beautifully illustrated and forms a very nice addition to the identification tools for this group.
This is all for the August 2020 update, enjoy your summer!
Adrien for the team of IDmyBee.
We hope that you are all safe and sound. The current Covid-19 lockdown did not help to work on IDmyBee. It especially slowed down the development of ID tools related to the Melittidae (no access to the collections for pictures and coding), but we managed to work on the website.
First, we owe a big thank to Rafael Carbonell Font. Thanks to his contribution, we expanded our bibliography (now more than 150 references) and we added links to about a hundred of online pdfs! If you don't know what to do during this lockdown, you can read them here.
A first (and short) list of online resources was also added here, and in the different genera pages when relevant. We hope to expand this list soon, so don't hesitate to contact us to suggest more resources.
Finally, we made a couple of snapshots to help users with Xper3. Although Xper3 is pretty intuitive, we invite you to check this page here, as well as the original website of the software (Xper3.fr and the associated wiki).
We hope that these changes will help you to use IDmyBee for your studies.
Adrien, for the team of IDmyBee
It's been almost a year since we presented the idea of IDmyBee at the first meeting of the GDR POLLINECO in south of France. With Bertrand Schatz, and with the help of a master student in systematics and evolution, Elie Saliba, and the generosity of Andrew Polaszek who graciously shared his unpublished genus key, we are thrilled to introduce you to this brand new website, the online platform of IDmyBee, and a first version of the online identification key to the genera of european wild bees, IDmyBee-genera!
The website is brand new and there is certainly much room for improvement, but it is out so you can benefit from what is already done. Also we want it to be a collaborative project, so please contact us if you have suggestions or if you want to join the team to contribute directly to the development of the platform.
Among other things, in the coming months we plan to:
- Add a list of the online ressources with information for the different genera (Atlas Hymenoptera, WestPalBees, Palearctic Osmiine Bees). There is already plenty of resources out there and it would be nice for someone identifying a genus to have a good view of what's known about it in a few clicks. But that demands a bit more work.
- Start a list of the current and active taxonomists in Europe, and the naturalists knowledgeable on the different groups.
- Add a tutorial for Xper3, the software used for the IDmyBee online tools to help identification. It is quite intuitive, but a little help may be useful. Currently, the tool is available only online, but we are discussing with the developers to enable an offline version.
- Add a webpage to illustrate our progress towards the different goals of IDmyBee and the different groups of bees.
- Add pdf availability for the documents cited in the bibliography.
- Translate the IDmyBee-genera tool and the website in french.
Why french? Because this project started in France and because... we speak french. We currently lack the contacts and resources to do so for other languages yet, but that's definitely part of the long-term goals.
We are also currently actively working on the development of the IDmyBee - Melittidae workpackage, to facilitate identification and access to taxonomic information of european Melittidae, with Denis Michez and Mathieu Lachaise.
So this is just a start, and we hope you'll join us to develop this project into a working platform facilitating the study of wild bees in Europe.
Adrien, for the team of IDmyBee