PP-ICON / Plant-Pollinator Integrated CONservation approach: a demonstrative proposal – LIFE09/NAT/IT000212

field activity

Monitoring 2016

  • author: Marta
  • Thursday 21 July 2016

We continue our activities of monitoring after the end of the project: analysis of the dittamo population fitness and of pullinator diversity.26447379932_daa60d5442_z

Monitoring actions – 2015

  • author: Chiara Lelli
  • Wednesday 20 May 2015

June 3, 2015 – June 9, 2015

Monitoring the fitness of dittany (production of fruits and seeds) in the project areaIMG_1813IMG_1810IMG_1812 IMG_1811

May 14, 2015 – May 19, 2015

Monitoring the fitness of the plants and demographic surveys in the project area


April 29, 2015 – May 6, 2015 – May 12, 2015

Periodic monitoring of pollinators on Dictamnus albus plants and in the project area


Action C.3 2015

  • author: Francesco Bisognin
  • Wednesday 6 May 2015

6  May 2015

Liberation of bumblebee colonies in the project area, to reinforce the wild pollinator populations

08-IMG_9444 11-IMG_9455

March 2015

Artificial rearing of the collected bumblebee queens

02-10 March 2015

Collection of 25 bumblebee queens in the surrounding of the target area.

Action C.3 2014

  • author: Francesco Bisognin
  • Tuesday 26 August 2014

25-27 February 2014


Collection of bumblebee queens in the surrounding of the target area.


The almond tree flowering, greater than the previous years, and the mild climate, allowed the collection of an high number of queens.



MarchApril 2014

Artificial rearing of the colonies originated by the collected wild queens.




05 May 2014

Re-entering of 9 colonies of different size in the project area.



06 June 2014


Checking of the released colonies: the 3 smallest colonies did not survive to the re-entering in nature.



Larger colonies continue to grow, although many Diptera larvae are present in the nests.



25 August 2014

Recovery and checking of the introduced colonies, already extinguished.

For unknown reasons, none of the colonies has reached the stage of males and queens production. Parasite and commensal flies and moths are present, but it wasn’t possible to determine if this is the cause of colony decline.


Action C.2 2014

  • author: Francesco Bisognin
  • Thursday 12 June 2014

March 2014

The set up of the Beehotels has been completed.


Hollow bricks filled with soil and clay were added for digger bees. At the base of one of the Beehotels an area with no vegetation was prepared and filled with sand and soil, for ground nesting Apoidea (sweat bees, mining bees). Gastropod empty shells, used as nesting sites by some Megachilidae species, were placed on the ground.


For the first time nesting carpenter bees (Xylocopa violacea) were observed in one of our Beehotel.



06 June 2014


During Beehotels monitoring it has been observed a typical bee nest competitor, the wasp Isodontia Mexicana, also called “cricket-hunter wasp” or “grass-carrying wasp”.

Action C.2 2013

  • author: Francesco Bisognin
  • Saturday 30 November 2013

30 April 2013

Placing of two Beehotels in the project area.


Beehotels were set up with reeds of variable length and diameter for cavity nesting Apoidea
(Megachilidae and carpenter bees) and a box filled with soil for ground nesting Apoidea (sweat
bees, mining bees).



June 2013

Nest occupation monitoring, performed monthly from February to September 2013


Successful occupation is verified at sight (surface of the hole closed with a mud cap) or using a
small rod and a flashlight when the closure cap is not visible.


Checking the nests, it is possible to identify the most common parasites.


In the hole at the middle you can see a bee fly exuvia (Anthrax anthrax), a parasite of the larval
stage of some solitary Apoidea.



20 August 2013


Beehotels monitoring to verify the reed occupation.



End of field work

For this year we have finished field work with insects observations on plants in the study area.
Blooming during the end of Summer here is charachterized byPeucedanum cervaia (Umbelliferae), together with Centaurea bracteata and the hemiparasitic Orthantha lutea.
Plants germinated at the Botanic garden and later transplanted in the area show a good flowering success as well, like Veronica barrelierii and Cephalaria transsylvanica.
We will be back with field work in 2014, see you soon!

Study area with the white P. cervaia.

Transplanted individuals of V. barrelierii (purple).

Dead stem with fruits of D. albus.


November 2013

Some of the solitary bee nest have moved to the CRA-API labs for the identification of nesting bees
and parasites.


Adult male of Osmia cornuta found in a nest.


Different species of parasites and kleptoparasites found in the nests.


Action C.3 2013

  • author: Francesco Bisognin
  • Monday 26 August 2013

11-22 March 2013

Collection of bumblebee queens in the surrounding of the target area.
Almond tree (Prunus dulcis) is one of the first plants to flower and represents a strong call for
bumblebee queens.




MarchApril 2013


Artificial rearing of the 9 collected bumblebee queens


First attempt of rearing Bombus pascuorum queens.



02 May 2013


Release of the colonies obtained from wild queen rearing.
A well developed colony and two early stage colonies with the first workers were re-entered in the
target area.


Two other colonies, in the very first developmental stage, were placed in two bumblebee artificial



20 August 2013

Recovery of the extinct reintroduced colonies to check the development status and possible


Azione E.1

  • author: Marta
  • Friday 11 May 2012

Plant fitness monitoring.
Hand-pollinations on dittany flowers and observations of fruit and seed production would allow us to understand if pollination service by natural pollinators is insufficient.



Azione E.2

  • author: Marta
  • Wednesday 2 May 2012

Pollinator monitorning on the target plant.

Observations of insects visiting dittany flowers allow us to understand their behaviour and their role as pollinators.


Here we can see a pollinator. An individual of Habropoda tarsataseeks nectar in a dittany flower.