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!
Recent News & Stories
- Autumn Yard and Garden TipsBy Judy Kunz, Colorado Master Gardener The first day of autumn is just around the corner. With cooler weather coming, this is an ideal time to get ahead of […]
- It’s Autumn and Gardening Ain’t Over YetBy Donnetta Wilhelm, Colorado Master Gardener I loved helping in my ‘Grandmother’s garden’, and she was an authority at growing dahlia, gladiolus, and begonia—all the old-fashioned, summer-blooming bulbs. Summer […]
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.
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 can’t attend the training, but you are interested in participating, please email us.
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.
Extension Fact Sheets:
- Creating Pollinator Habitat
- Attracting Native Bees to Your Landscape
- Attracting Butterflies to Your Garden
- Building and Managing Bee Hotels for Wild Bees
- Bees and Nuisance Wasps
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:
- Let’s Celebrate Pollinators Every Week
- Buzzing Research on Pollinator Conservation
- Plant Native Plants to Support Native Bees
- BEE Thankful for Pollinators
- Where Do Bees Go in Winter
- The Buzz on Bees and Wasps
Here are a few links to learn more about native pollinators and pollinator-friendly plants: