Citizen science for pollinators

Bumble Bee conservation volunteer opportunity at Pinery and Awenda

Today’s post comes from Hayley Tompkins and Sarah Johnson, biologists with Wildlife Preservation Canada’s Native Pollinator Initiative.  

Calling all nature lovers! If you’re available June 24-25, 2017, we have a great program to help conserve pollinators that you can be a part of!

Did you know that over 15 different species of bumble bee live in Ontario? Have you ever seen a bumble bee and wondered what their different colour patterns mean for species identification?

Do you want to learn more about the bumble bees at Pinery and Awenda Provincial Parks, and contribute to their conservation?

Rusty-patched Bumble Bee

If you’re interested in learning more about bumble bees, and making a real contribution to conserving and protecting them, you should BEEcome involved with Wildlife Preservation Canada’s BumbleBeeWatch.org citizen science survey program!

We know that some species of bumble bee are declining – three different species are officially at risk in Ontario – and we need to collect more information about them to help inform conservation efforts and policy decisions.

What’s Bumble Bee Watch?

BumbleBeeWatch.org is a website that was developed to let bee scientists be in multiple places at once – by having you, the citizen scientist, help us collect the data we need!

bee

This is your opportunity to get outdoors, connect with and explore nature, and, most importantly, contribute to conservation. You may be the one to record a sighting of the endangered Rusty-patched Bumble Bee, or the special concern Yellow-banded Bumble Bee. Through participating in this program, you can make a real difference!

As a bumble bee citizen scientist, you will:

  • Spend time searching for a diversity of bumble bee species at Pinery or Awenda Provincial Park, and in your own backyard
  • Upload photos of bumble bees to start a virtual bumble bee collection
  • Identify the bumble bees in your photos and have your identifications verified by experts
  • Help researchers determine the status and conservation needs of bumble bees
  • Help locate rare or endangered bumble bee populations;
  • Learn about bumble bees, their ecology, and ongoing conservation efforts
  • Connect with other citizen scientists

volunteer with net

Ready to join the team and help our bees?

Come to one of the participating parks for a training session, sign up for independent survey sessions throughout the summer in assigned locations within the park, take digital photographs of bumble bees during your assigned survey time, and upload them to BumbleBeeWatch.org.

Time commitment is flexible, and no experience is required!

bumble bee volunteer

Now that you’ve heard the buzz, sign up for one (or both!) of our survey programs below:

Training and volunteer sign up for Pinery Provincial Park will be on June 25, from 1:00-4:00 pm.

Register here!

Training and volunteer sign up for Awenda Provincial Park will be on June 24, from 1:00-4:00 pm.

Register here!

If you have any questions or would like more information about the program, please email us.