Nature today |  National Bijentelling Wins NWO 2021 Communication Initiative Award

Nature today | National Bijentelling Wins NWO 2021 Communication Initiative Award

From November 29 to December 3, arrived The Natural and Exact Sciences of the NWO Field (ENW) Five special scientific awards. One of these is the Communication Initiative Award. The award rewards scientists for their efforts and the way they inspire others in the field of scientific communication. As the winner, National Bijentelling will receive a sum of €10,000 dedicated to communication activities.

The biodiversity crisis in the living room

National number of bees It is an initiative of a bee experts. Doctor. Cos Bessemer and Dr. NS. Vincent Caldwell, both of which are related to Naturalis. Everyone in the Netherlands can participate in scientific research at the annual event. A national campaign to educate the general public about the importance of wild bees in our food, and puts young and old to work for half an hour to count the different types of bees in their own garden. According to the jury, in this way the researchers bring an important and urgent topic, the biodiversity crisis, straight to the living rooms of all Dutch people.

The jury commends the ease with which participants can participate in the study. Through this initiative, researchers can reach a wide and very diverse audience, who are introduced to science and nature. In addition, researchers not only increase community involvement in scientific research, but also advocate for the protection of bees and provide concrete guidance for this,” according to the NWO jury. The jury sees this as a prime example of citizen science.

new insights

The researchers and the National Bijentelling team are extremely proud of the award. Calman: “Everyone is becoming more aware of the importance of wild bees and ready to commit to it. The national bee census makes this possible. It is great to see our efforts being appreciated in this way.” Annual garden numbers contribute to research on wild bees in the Netherlands. It gives researchers new insight into, for example, the differences between regions, or the urban and rural environment.

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The team already has ideas for using the money won: “Thanks to the prize, we can reach more people. We will explore how we can attract more participants and specific groups to join the count, such as schools. It should be possible for everyone to contribute to protecting wild bees”, As Bessmayer says. National Bijentelling 2022 will take place over the weekend of April 23 and 24.

About the national bee population

The National Bijentelling is an annual survey by Naturalis, LandschappenNL, IVN Nature Education, and Nature & Environment that is conducted by citizens. The research provides scientists with insight into the trends of bee populations in the Netherlands. By learning more about the state of bees in our country, bees can be better protected. The bee census is organized in cooperation with the EIS Knowledge Center Insects and

more information

  • For more information on the NWO Awards winners, visit
  • Would you like to learn more about the National Bee Count? then go to

text: Natural Biodiversity Center
Photos: Yoshim Konen; Martin Van Del

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