Georgia’s first pollinator count will take a census of bees and butterflies

Image of girl counting insects on flowers.

(WABE) Atlanta gardeners say they’re seeing fewer butterflies and lightning bugs. But researchers don’t really know how their populations have changed here. They don’t know how most insects’ populations have changed. The state’s first-ever pollinator census, kicking off this week, could help start to get some answers. It’s a statewide citizen science project, a count of the bees and butterflies that land on flowers in yards, parks and at schools.

Bee Observer Cards from the Encyclopedia of Life

Image of Bee Observer Card.

(Encyclopedia of Life) Observer cards from the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) are designed to develop the art and science of observing nature. Each set of cards provides key traits and techniques necessary to make accurate and useful scientific observations. Available as an eBook or printable deck. EOL includes the participation of institutions such as the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and Harvard University.

MSU researchers collaborate with one-room schoolhouses to collect bee data

Image of one-room schoolhouse in Montana.

(TriState Livestock News) “We are in year two of a 15-year project to document the 500 to 1,000 species of native bees in Montana.” But to examine all 147,000 square miles of the state would require significant manpower, and to fill that need, an unlikely partnership was created. The researchers put together boxes that included curriculum and bee-sampling tools and sent them to one-room schoolhouses across the state.

Disappearing bumble bee species under threat of extinction

Image of American bumble bee on flower.

(York University) “This species is at risk of extinction and it’s currently not protected in any way despite the drastic decline.” The research team used data from three sources: citizen science data from Bumble Bee Watch, the Bumble Bees of North America database with records dating back to the late-1800s, and their own field work.