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Department Head: 

Prof. Dr. Alexandra-Maria Klein
phone:+49 (0)761 203-67770



Mrs. Ilona Winkler
phone:+49 (0)761 203-3635
fax:+49 (0)761 203-3638


Chair of Nature Conservation
& Landscape Ecology
University of Freiburg
Tennenbacher Str. 4
D-79106 Freiburg




Ground-nesting wild bees/flower/the influence of ploughing

Ground-nesting wild bees in flower strips and

the influence of ploughing on ground-nesting bee nests



PhD student Christopher Hellerich

Dr. Felix Fornoff

Prof. Dr. Alexandra Klein

Dr. Anne-Chirstine Mupepele (2022-2023)


October 2022 -  December 2025



Perennial flower strips are becoming increasingly popular as a effective measure for promoting biodiversity in the agricultural landscape. Wild bees in particular benefit from perennial flowerstrips: In addition to a broad food supply, these areas provide necessary nesting opportunities for native wild bee species, the majority of which nest in the soil.
With regard to the soil-nesting wild bees as important pollinators for wild and cultivated plants, the question arises what effects the tilling of flower strips, e.g. by ploughing, has on the soil-nesting bees and their nests. Currently, there is little knowledge about this; in particular, it is unclear how many of the wild bees that forage in the flowering strips also nest there.
In this project, financed by the Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and Energy Sector Baden-Württemberg, annual and perennial flower strips in the agricultural landscape of Baden-Württemberg are compared with respect to their foraging as well as soil-nesting wild bee communities. In particular, we investigate the effects of ploughing as a tillage measure in flower strips on the nests of ground-nesting wild bees. For this purpose, methods for localizing nests in flower strips will be evaluated and (further) developed, and nest locations as well as the wild bees nesting in them will be systematically recorded.
With the ecological and methodological knowledge gained, the project helps to better evaluate measures from current agri-environmental programs such as the Baden-Württemberg Support Program for Agri-environment, Climate Protection and Animal Welfare (FAKT) or the "Eco-schemes" introduced with the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the EU.


Public relations:

Project presentation and faunistic inspection of flower strips at the event „Blühfelder am Tuniberg“ organized by NABU Freiburg on 18.05.2024


Online talk by Christopher Hellerich on 13.03.2024
at the Department of Sustainable Land Management, University of Reading (UK)
"Assessing nest locations and densities of ground-nesting bees in different habitats"



Talk by Christopher Hellerich on 21.02.2024
at the BeesUp Symposium "Ground-nesting Wild Bees" at the Julius Kühn Institute in Braunschweig

"Assessing nest locations and densities of ground-nesting wild bees in flower strips and other habitats"


BZ - Badische Zeitung - 20.06.2023
Interview with Christopher Hellerich about his doctoral thesis project

Christopher Hellerich forscht zu boden... und um Freiburg-Opfingen aufgestellt.  | Foto: Privat

Online-talk by Christopher Hellerich
on 27.10. & 15.11.2023
at a farmer information event
of the Saalemühle Alsleben GmbH
„Kriterien bei der Planung und Anlage
von Blühflächen zum Biodiversitätsschutz“


Impressions from the test sites in 2023 and 2024


Haben Sie fragen zum Projekt, dann kontaktieren Sie Christopher Hellerich gerne telefonisch: 0761 203 3644 oder perE-Mail


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