Austrian Citizen Science Conference 2023 in Linz

This year’s Austrian Citizen Science Conference took place from April 19 to 21, 2023 at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria. The conference was initiated by the network “Österreich forscht” (BOKU Vienna) and in cooperation with Ars Electronica and the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft.

Robert Brodschneider and Kristina Gratzer from the University of Graz participated together with approximately 150 other Citizen Science enthusiasts.

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Dry practice on INSIGNIA-EU sampling for Austrian citizen scientists

Project preparations are in full swing throughout the EU – also in Austria!

All Austrian participants got their tool boxes, so it was time to enter the next stage . Thus, on April 14th,  we organized a workshop for beekeepers in Austria. The main goal was to give instructions on how to do the sampling for the INSIGNIA-EU fullstudy 2023. As a physical workshop was not possible at this time, we invited all 10 participants to attend to the online worshop, which turned out to work very well. For one person it was not possible to take part, but thanks to advances in technology, we were able to record and provide the entire workshop.

Kristina set-up an empty demonstration beehive and went through the whole sample collection process. The citizen scientists were encouraged to interrupt and ask questions at any time.

Thank you all for the participation and the pleasant atmosphere and interest and good luck to all INSIGNIA-EU citizen scientists for the study start next week!

Kristina Gratzer und Robert Brodschneider

First meeting with all national coordinators from Europe (online event)

For the full study in 2023, the sampling will be expanded to all 27 European Union countries. To sucessfully activate the widespread beekeeping community in Europe, the INSIGNIA-EU consortium will also be expanded by subcontracting a total of 19 institutions. Thus, we are able to cover all European Union member states and all 23 European languages.

It has been a while, since the INSIGNIA-EU consortium held an online event to meet the subcontractors on July 6. Nevertheless, we want to inform our readers about this important meet and greet.

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INSIGNIA-EU – the citizen scientist’s opinion counts too!

In one of the recent blog entries, we talked about the different stages of participation of volunteers in a citizen science study. This time, we want to address that the form of involvement in a citizen science study can also be very different.

Let’s talk about three different categories of citizen science studies, that are described in literature and to whom the INSIGNIA-EU can be allocated (Bonney et al., 2009, see also Table 1).

Contributory projects: Typically, scientists design the study and the public is primarily involved by collecting data.

Collaborative projects: Scientists generally design the study, the public is involved by not only collecting the data, but also takes part in evaluating the study-setup, help analyzing data or is part of the dissemination process.

Co-created projects: Scientists work together with the public to design a study and at least a part of the volunteers is involved in all steps of the study process.

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Sjef’s visit in Graz and trip to two Austrian citizen scientists

Past Friday, Sjef van der Steen visited the Uni Graz Natco team Kristina Gratzer and Robert Brodschneider at the University of Graz in Austria.
We had one full day of activities together.
The day started with the sampling at the university’s own apiary. Sjef turned out to be a great assistant in the sampling process.
After we stored all samples accordingly, we visited a nearby restaurant for lunch and discussed the further program of the day.
The first goal was to visit Josef, one of the Austrian citzen scientists near Graz. We decided to take the country road, passing some small cities, woods,  loads of farming lands,  and even former study sites of Sjef.

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7th Austrian Citizen Science Conference 2022 or dear national coordinators

Citizen Science – why not?

This was the topic of the 7th Austrian citizen science conference held end of June in Dornbirn visited by researchers from Austria, Switzerland and Germany. Citizen science is scientific research partly being done by non-professionals, which are nonetheless experts and/or enthusiasts in a specific field.

Of course, the Austrian partners of the INSIGNIA-EU project from the University of Graz did not miss the opportunity to be a part of this event. They presented the valuable volunteer work of beekeepers acting as citizen scientists in projects like INSIGNIA or INSIGNIA-EU. Continue reading “7th Austrian Citizen Science Conference 2022 or dear national coordinators”

A full sampling round on video

The first sampling round is behind us and in the course of this, we were able to familiarize ourselves with the sampling materials and the sampling process.

The pilot study in 2022 is relatively complex and involves many different methods, that the participating beekeepers have to engage with.

Because pictures are known to say more than 1000 words, we made a video of the sampling and uploaded it to YouTube. This should serve as a supplement to the picture manual and hopefully increases the understanding of the course of the pilot study.

Since the pollen trap of the hives was still closed at the time of sampling, the pollen sampling is not included in the video, but will be added later on.


The video can be watched through the following LINK.


Kristina Gratzer

C*Sci2022 presented by the Citizen Science Association


This year, the C*Sci2022 conference will be held online from May 23-May 26. Registered parties will be able to join interesting discussions and have access to more than 100 posters and douzens of talks about a variety of citizen science projects around the world.

The opening keynote will be held by Dr. Mónica Ramírez-Andreotta, who will give a talk on “Cultivating Science, Justice, and Action”

Of course, the INSIGNIA-EU team will also be part of the conference by presented a poster about the project (dowload the PDF poster here –> INSIGNIAPoster)

Be sure to sign up and learn more about citizen science.

Link to the conference website:


Kristina Gratzer and Robert Brodschneider

Finally! The INSIGNIA-EU Pilot study has started

After all the time, the INSIGNIA-EU team has spent for the preparations, we have reached the moment for celebration of the INSIGNIA-EU pilot study start 2022. 

Today, May 19th until Sunday, May 22 marks the very first phase of the pilot study’s sampling process – the installation period.

Within this time period, a total of 15 participating citizen scientist beekeepers from Austria, Denmark and Greece will install the first matrices. Those will stay in the test hives for two weeks and be sampled within the sampling period of sampling round 1 (SR01).

Austria prepared a short, video guidance for the installation period:  Continue reading “Finally! The INSIGNIA-EU Pilot study has started”

Snack boxes for the team to enjoy the last meeting

On upcoming Friday, the Insignia team will meet virtually one last time to celebrate the successfull INSIGNIA study. And what do you need to have a good party? RIGHT! Snacks and drinks. Therefore, the Danish team members Flemming and Ole had the idea to ask all of the team members to send them typical snacks or drinks from their countries. Flemming and Ole further compiled them into one snack box and send one such box to each of us.

The result speaks for itself. 16 delicious snacks and drinks from 11 European countries in one box.

I can’t wait to actually taste them on Friday.

By Kristina Gratzer