I'm working on data from Spipoll, Nature Watch's participatory science program, which consists of taking a 20-minute photo of all the insects that land on a flower. We thus have valuable information on the presence or absence of pollnisers throughout the year and over a large territory.
My job is to look specifically at whether global warming is changing insect behaviour. My problem is this: do bees, bumblebees, flies and other butterflies fly away earlier when the years are warmer? Several studies have already shown that global warming advances the triggering of certain biological functions of animals: birds lay their eggs a little earlier, caterpillars metamorphose prematurely, etc. But as far as the reaction of bees, bumblebees or flies is concerned, not much is known.
After analysis of 8 years of Spipoll data, our preliminary results show that, in general, insects fly earlier in "warm" years. The flight date is even advanced by one week (6 days) for each additional degree!