What is Bumble Bee Watch?
Bumble Bee Watch is a collaborative effort to track and conserve North America’s bumble bees. This citizen science project allows for individuals to:
- Upload photos of bumble bees to start a virtual bumble bee collection;
- Identify the bumble bees in your photos and have your identifications verified by experts;
- Help researchers determine the status and conservation needs of bumble bees;
- Help locate rare or endangered populations of bumble bees;
- Learn about bumble bees, their ecology, and ongoing conservation efforts; and
- Connect with other citizen scientists.
How can you participate?
We need your help! Because these animals are widely distributed the best way to keep track of them is with an army of volunteers across the country armed with cameras. With any luck, you might help us to find remnant populations of rare species before they go extinct. Participating in Bumble Bee Watch is simple and you can get started now by creating an account via the “sign in” tab at the top of the page. Once you have an account, go out and check your garden, in parks, or any other natural areas you frequent for bumble bees. Be sure to snap a photo (learn more about how to photograph bees here) and then sign in and submit your data via our Bumble Bee Sightings form. Have fun while learning more about bumble bees and the vital role they play in our environment!
Other ways you can help:
- Create habitat! You can find more information about how to create bumble bee habitat at www.xerces.org/bumblebees.
- Support local and organic agriculture. Many pesticides are harmful to bumblebee colonies and many vegetable and fruit plants provide great food sources for bees.
- Spread the word! Many people are afraid of bumble bees and other insects. Let your friends and family know how important they are and encourage them to take photos too!
- Wildlife Preservation Canada
- The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
- University of Ottawa
- Montreal Insectarium
- Natural History Museum, London
- Alice C. Tyler Trust
- Charlotte Martin Foundation
- Endangered Species Chocolate
- Hind Foundation
- Horne Family Foundation
- Maki Foundation
- Mountain Equipment Co-op
- Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
- The New Land Foundation
- Regina Bauer Frankenberg Foundation
- The Schad Foundation
- Wildlife Preservation Canada donors
- Xerces Society members
Many individuals with significant expertise in the identification of bumble bees are helping to verify the identities of bumble bees in submitted photos. This project would not be possible without the contributions of these individuals. Many thanks to the following bumble bee experts:
- Mike Arduser of the Missouri Department of Conservation
- Laura Burkle of Montana State University
- Syd Cannings of Environment Canada
- Ralph Cartar of the University of Calgary
- Sheila Colla of Wildlife Preservation Canada
- Liz Day
- Sam Droege of the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
- Joe Engler of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- Elaine Evans of the University of Minnesota
- Doug Golick of the University of Nebraska – Lincoln
- Terry Griswold of the USDA Pollinating Insects Research Unit
- Rich Hatfield of the Xerces Society
- Terry Harrison of the University of Illinois
- Shalene Jha of the University of Texas at Austin
- Carol Kearns of the University of Colorado at Boulder
- Jon Koch of Utah State University
- Jeff Lozier of the University of Alabama
- Michael Otterstatter of the BC Centre for Disease Control
- Robin Owen of Mount Royal University
- Leif Richardson of Dartmouth College
- Cory Sheffield of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum
- Robbin Thorp of the University of California, Davis
- Michael Warriner of Texas Parks and Wildlife
- Paul Williams of the Natural History Museum, London