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 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 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 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.
Thank you to all volunteers who collected data during the summer of 2020. Stay tuned for information on the summer 2021 season!
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.
- Checkout the Bee Information section for a jump start on training.
- View the 2020 training agenda here.
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 Guide
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
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?
Research, Projects and Resources
Published Research and Completed Projects
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
Oct. 11, 2020 – CSU Source – Virtual internship inspires creativity and resilience – CSU Source
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
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