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Native Bee Watch Community Science Program   arrow

Engaging Coloradans in research and education to support pollinator conservation.

NEW: Check out our new interactive bee data dashboard! Explore bee monitoring data in real time collected by Native Bee Watch Community Scientists in Colorado. Read the instruction box on how to use the dashboard in the bottom left corner.

Recent News:

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.

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.


Get Involved


Registration for the 2021 season is closed.

Sign up for the newsletter to stay informed about future opportunities. We will send out a newsletter next spring about participating in the 2022 season!

Requirements to monitor bees: 

  • Must attend a two-hour virtual training session or watch a recorded 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. Bee monitoring data can be collected in your own backyard!

Checkout the Bee Information section for a jump start on training.

Please keep the following emails on your “safe senders” list: lisa.mason@colostate.edu and nativebeewatch@gmail.com.


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 Field Guide

Native Bee Watch Citizen Science Field Guide

Extension Fact Sheets and Relevant Publications

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:


Research, Projects and Resources


Published Research and Completed Projects

2019 – Assessing the efficacy of citizen scientists monitoring native bees in urban areas

2020 – Native Bee Watch Undergraduate Internship – Sarah Viders poster presentation, CSU Source story and Sarah’s Sustainability Secrets video series

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

National

Local


In the News


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

May 12, 2020 – kHEN 106.9 Free Range Radio, Salida, CO – Native Bees

For media inquiries, contact Lisa Mason at lisa.mason@colostate.edu or 303-738-7966

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