The Beecology Project
Wild pollinators have declined in abundance, diversity, and geographic distribution at an alarming rate over recent years. These declines pose a significant threat to ecosystem health and biodiversity, yet we currently lack critical ecological information needed to develop effective conservation and restoration strategies for threatened species. The ‘Beecology Project’ aims to fill this gap by recruiting citizen scientists from across the region to digitally collect and submit ecological data on native pollinator species using our freely available web app. Our team has also developed several online visualization tools that will help researchers, K-12 students/teachers, conservation groups, and members of the general public use the collected ecological data to improve the quality of native pollinator habitats and ultimately, determine the cause of wild pollinator decline. The first phase of the project is focused on floral preferences of threatened bumblebee species, with later phases including nesting and overwintering site preferences. The project will also expand to include other pollinator groups and geographic locations in North America. As a Beecologist, you will contribute valuable information on the diversity and health of pollination systems in your local area and importantly, help to keep our native ecosystems buzzing for years to come!