Seven new bee and wasp species discovered in 2023

Six new species of wasp and one new species of bee were discovered in Belgium last year. In addition, six bee species thought to be lost were rediscovered, the Flemish nature conservation organisation Natuurpunt reported on Friday.

The six new wasp species, still waiting for Dutch-language names, were discovered in a study by Jeffrey Jacobs (University of Hasselt) on wasp communities on green roofs. "There are about 5,000 species of wasps in Belgium, of which only about 1,000 have a Dutch-language name," explains Fons Verheyde, a volunteer at Aculea, Natuurpunt's working group for wild bees and wasps.

In contrast, there are just over 400 bee species. They often have clearer distinguishing features that make naming easier. The new bee species discovered in Belgium in 2023 already has a Dutch-language name: roodpotige bloedbij (the red-legged blood bee). Although it was photographed along the Ghent-Bruges canal in Aalter in 2020, it was only catalogued in 2023.

Six other bee species were also rediscovered. Volunteers found these bees where they were last seen, in a targeted search for species thought to be extinct.


#FlandersNewsService | © BELGA PHOTO DAVID PINTENS

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