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Native Bee Watch Citizen Science Program   arrow

Engaging Coloradans in research and education to support pollinator conservation.

With pollinator conservation rising to the top of environmental concerns, our purpose is to be a resource for the community, research bee diversity and abundance in urban areas, and provide the long-term monitoring data. Conservation for bees and pollinators isn’t just a job for scientists, but for citizens too! 

Sign ups for 2020 is currently closed. Click here to be informed about future opportunities with Native Bee Watch!

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About the Project


Native Bee Watch is a citizen science biodiversity monitoring project that began in 2016 at Colorado State University. The project is now expanding in Colorado and is a program within Colorado State University Extension.

Why Monitor Bees? 

There are over 900 native bee species in Colorado! With this incredible diversity, we want to learn more about the bees and the plants they are pollinating. We are also interested in learning how urban areas affect bee diversity and abundance. We have several goals with this project: 1) learn about bee diversity and abundance in local areas, 2) make plant recommendations to homeowners and municipal planners, 3) provide education to volunteers and the community, and 4) assess adult learning in citizen science.

Pollinators are responsible for one-third of the human diet including vegetables, fruits and nuts – the most nutritious part of our diet. Over 75% of plants on earth need pollinators to reproduce. Due to a variety of factors, including increasing urbanization, pollinator populations are declining. Pollinator conservation takes locally based solutions and dedication from the community.

We chose to make Native Bee Watch a citizen science program so that the community can be involved in research. Volunteers learn about bee biology and identification, and become an steward for pollinators and the environment.

If you are interested in this project, please contact Lisa at Lisa.Mason@colostate.edu.


Get Involved


New for summer 2020: This season we are recruiting volunteers to collect data on the bees visiting the flowers in their backyard. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be collecting data at public gardens this year.

Requirements to monitor bees: 

  • Must attend a three-hour virtual training session.
  • Must be willing to submit data at a minimum of twice a month from June through August.

No prior skills needed. All training on how to monitor bees will be provided at the training session. 

  • Training sessions are offered virtually on the following days:
    • Thursday, May 21st from 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
    • Wednesday, May 27th from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
  • You only need to attend one session.
  • Checkout the Bee Information section for a jump start on training.
  • View the training agenda here.

If you would like to stay up-to-date, please email Lisa.Mason@colostate.edu or sign up to receive the newsletter.

If you can’t attend the training, but you are interested in participating, please email us.


Bee Information


We believe that building awareness surrounding native pollinators and native pollinator friendly plants is critical! Please take time to learn more and share this information with your family, friends and neighbors.

Native Bee Watch Citizen Science Field Guide

Extension Fact Sheets:

Check out the CO-Horts Blog for information on pollinators and other important topics written by your CSU Extension Horticulture Staff from around the state. Here are some recent posts on pollinators:

Here are a few links to learn more about native pollinators and pollinator-friendly plants:

Keeping ahead of COVID-19

This rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) has imposed an unsettling, fluid situation upon our community and its businesses. While the team here still aims to maintain a “business as usual” approach, we are making a number of significant changes to our operations to account for a situation that is far from normal.