Volunteers are needed to monitor nesting blocks for bees as part of the Minnesota Bee Atlas. The Minnesota Bee Atlas uses citizen science volunteers to create an open database of wild bee distribution across the state of Minnesota. The last survey of bees in Minnesota, conducted in 1919, described 67 different bee species while Wisconsin reports almost 400 species. This effort will be part of a state-wide survey of bee species in Minnesota, important for informing policy and management practices at the local and state levels. However, there is a lot of space to cover in Minnesota and we need your help to discover and record our native bees. Your observations, combined with historical records from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the University of Minnesota Insect Collection, will provide important information on the diversity and distribution of bee species in Minnesota.
To learn about tunnel-nesting bees in Minnesota, we will be mounting nesting blocks across the state beginning in March 2016. Volunteers will observe the blocks twice monthly from April to October, making notes of how many bees are nesting in the block and what materials the bees are using to build their nests. Each monitoring session is expected to take between 30 and 60 minutes. At the end of the season, the blocks will be returned to the University of Minnesota where our entomologist will raise the bee larvae to adults for species identification.
Location and Date
Miesville Ravine Park Reserve
Inspections will be done twice each month from April to September
Duties & Responsibilities
Inspect nesting blocks 2 times each month
Collect data as needed for the program’s supervisor
Collection and organization of data
Must be 16 years or older
Must commit to full 6 month term
Must have access to a computer
Minimum Time Commitment
6 months, checking your section 2 times a month
Medium - May involve varying amounts of activity (long walks, rough terrain, and moderate physical exertion. May not be recommended for volunteers with physical limitations. Comfortable, sturdy shoes recommended.
Online videos showing the monitoring and data submission processes will be provided as training. Any other further questions can be handled by the program’s supervisor.
Britt Forsberg will provide volunteers with a handbook, paper data sheets, and online videos showing the monitoring and data submission processes. She will also be available for volunteer communication; monitoring reminders, trouble-shooting, questions about using the website, or the arrangement for substitute or replacement monitors if need be.
Minnesota Native Bee Atlas Coordinator
2003 Upper Buford Circle, 135 Skok Hall, St. Paul, MN 55108
Dakota County Volunteer Coordinator
- Data Entry
- Habitat Restoration
- Environmental Policy
- Environmental Education
- Environmental Science
Good Match For
Requirements & Commitment
- Must be at least 18
- 6 months
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