Engaging Coloradans in research and education to support pollinator conservation.
- Where are the Pollinators? Listen the Colorado Matters interview on Colorado Public Radio and learn more about Native Bee Watch! Part 1 and Part 2.
- Check out the CSU Story on Native Bee Watch!
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, and provide the long-term monitoring data. Conservation for bees and pollinators isn’t just a job for scientists, but for the community too!
About the Project
Native Bee Watch is a community science biodiversity monitoring project that began in 2016 at Colorado State University. The project is now a statewide program within Colorado State University Extension.
- Meet the Native Bee Watch Team
- Read about us in a CSU Source story: What’s the buzz? Count and conserve bees in your community with Native Bee Watch
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 community 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 community 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.
Requirements to participate Native Bee Watch:
- Must attend a two-hour virtual training session or watch a recorded training session.
- Live trainings will be held in spring 2024.
- 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. Bee monitoring data can be collected in your own backyard!
Checkout the Bee Information section for a jump start on training.
The social media toolkit has resources for you to share your involvement with Native Bee Watch on your social media platforms. Tell your family and friends why you are volunteering for Native Bee Watch!
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 Field Guides
Extension Fact Sheets and Relevant Publications
- 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
- The Bumble Bees of Colorado: A Pictorial Identification and Information Guide
- The Bees of Colorado
- Bee Hotel Resources
Blog Posts on Pollinators
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
- The Fascinating Lives of Butterflies
- All About Wasps – Part I
- What is a Pollinator Syndrome?
- Your Pollinator Book List: Ideas to Read
Research, Projects and Resources
Published Research and Completed Projects
2021 – Interactive data dashboard
For School Teachers
Bring native bee education into your classroom! Bee Please! STEM Kits available to check out for FREE! Activities utilize community science data collected through Native Bee Watch. Learn more about STEM kits available for check out at the CSU’s Education and Outreach Center.
Organizations Supporting Pollinator Conservation
- The Xerces Society
- The Pollinator Partnership
- The Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab – USGS
- U.S. Forest Service
- Plant Select
- Colorado State University
- The Colorado Native Plant Society
- Denver Botanic Gardens
- The Butterfly Pavilion
- Denver Audubon Society
In the News
March 3, 2022 – The Denver Channel – Colorado bill aims to save bee populations by restricting pesticide use
November, 2021 – The Conversation – 4 Unexpected Places Where Adults Can Learn Science
June 28, 2021 – Colorado Public Radio – From Plants To Pesticides, Answering More Colorado Wonders Questions About Pollinators
June 18, 2021 – Colorado Public Radio – Have You Noticed Fewer Bees in Colorado This Year? You’re Not Alone
May 14, 2021 – CSU Source – What’s the buzz? Count and conserve bees in your community with Native Bee Watch
Oct. 11, 2020 – CSU Source – Virtual internship inspires creativity and resilience
Aug 6, 2020 – 630 KHOW Talk Radio with Ross Kaminsky – How we can help bees thrive, and why we should
Aug. 4, 2020 – Denver Post – How to create a bee-friendly garden in Denver to support Colorado’s more than 900 native species
For media inquiries, contact Lisa Mason at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-738-7966
Recent News & Stories
- I Didn’t Know That!By Brenda Francis, Colorado Master Gardener USDA Zone Changes The United States Department of Agriculture released an updated Plant Hardiness Zone Map (PHZM) in 2023. The new PHZM shows… Read more: I Didn’t Know That!
- Native Plants Invite Birds to Your GardenBy Carol Gilmore, Colorado Master Gardener Did you know that February is National Bird Feeding month? The proclamation was read in Congress on February 23, 1994 and the month… Read more: Native Plants Invite Birds to Your Garden