Habitat Survey Overview

Rapid Habitat Assessments, or habitat surveys, will take place at all point and roadside surveys, but not incidental surveys. Habitat surveys will help us to gain a better understanding of what habitat features are important for bumble bees, and provide insight on how to better manage our lands to promote bumble bee conservation.

You can do your habitat surveys before or after your bumble bee survey, but they do need to be done on the same day to ensure the habitat conditions correspond to the observed bumble bee community. These surveys should take no more than 30 minutes, and the time needed will vary depending on a surveyor's experience and the habitat complexity.

To complete these surveys you will need:

  1. The datasheet

  2. A camera

  3. A local wildflower plant guide

  4. The latitude and longitude of your location (see other resources for assistance)

  5. Basic weather information (see other resources for assistance)

  6. Your Grid ID

Conducting a habitat survey

Step 1: Site information

  1. Fill in the grid number

  2. Fill in the date

  3. Circle the survey type


Step 2: Habitat information

  1. Put and X near the dominant habitat type of the SURVEY AREA (area surveyed for bumble bees). It may be difficult to choose just one, but please do your best. You can add notes under Site Description if need be.

  2. Put an X in each other the columns for the 3 most abundant habitat types in the SURROUNDING AREA.

  3. Circle how much of the SURVEY AREA has flowering resources.

  4. Put and X by all the observed features in or near the survey area.

  5. Answer the questions about site management to the best of your ability. This includes the SURVEY AREA and the SURROUNDING AREA.​

Step 3: Plant species in bloom (with no bumble bee observations)

  1. Record the number of flowering plants (inlcuding trees and shrubs) that are blooming that were NOT visited by bumble bees

  2. Enter the common and scientific names for all blooming plants without bumbl ebee observations. If you are unsure, denote as unknown and complete later. For example: "unknown yellow 1".

  3. Take photos and include the corresponding photo file names for any unknown blooming flowers.

Step 4: Volunteer data

  1. Record your atart and stop times including planning and driving time.

  2. Record the total miles driven to and from your survey site

Your habitat data will be submitted along with your bumble bee observations on Bumble Bee Watch. See instructions for submitting data.