Last week we were in Bologna, attending the final meeting of the SPRING project partners. The main goals of this European project were to test the pollinator monitoring methodology in all EU member states and to strengthen the expert capacities for its implementation. The meeting brought together experts on butterflies, bees, and hoverflies from across Europe.

The meeting included presentations on preliminary results, discussions about the field experiences, and talks about other ongoing pollinator projects (such as ORBIT and TaxoFly). One of the results of project SPRING is a website Pollinator Academy, which is an excellent tool for learning more about pollinators and keeping track of pollinator-related policy across the EU.

We also discussed practical challenges: what takes the most time in the field and the lab, and what are the best solutions to these and other bottlenecks. The goal of the discussions was to get a clearer picture of what we need, both at the national and EU level, to establish robust pollinator monitoring under Article 8. of Nature Restoration Law. The conclusion was that we still have work to do, but that we have a clearer vision of the next steps. For us, this was an inspiring and motivating meeting and an opportunity to exchange experiences with colleague insect-loving researchers from other countries.

Photo: L. Cabiddu