The Project

Native Bee Watch is a biodiversity monitoring project in Fort Collins, Colorado started in 2016 by the Pollination Biology Lab at Colorado State University.

Why Monitor Bees? 

There are over 900 native bee species in Colorado! Over 400 species have been documented in Larimer County. Bees are a difficult taxonomic group of insects to study. We want to learn more about what bees are living in Fort Collins. We also want to learn more about how urban areas affect bee diversity and abundance. Our ultimate goal is to make recommendations to urban homeowners and city planners on what to plant and how best to create bee habitat.

Pollinators are responsible for one-third of the human diet including vegetables, fruits and nuts – the most nutritious part of our diet. 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 citizen 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, we would love for you to get involved!

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Honey bee on a milkweed plant. Photo Credit: Linda Helm, Citizen Science Volunteer, 2016

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A bee (Anthidium sp.) flying towards catmint at the Gardens at Spring Creek. Photo:Lisa Mason

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