Minnesota Bumble Bee Atlas
Minnesota Bumble Bee Atlas: Requirements


To understand the purpose and value of the Atlas, click here.

What You Will Need to Participate:

  1. ​Time. You will need to survey for bumble bees at least twice, preferably three times, between mid-June and mid-August. Preferably you will conduct your first survey between mid June and early July, your second survey from mid to late July, and your third survey from early to mid August. Please wait at least two weeks between surveys. It is preferred that you do all three surveys, but it is still useful if you can only manage two surveys. When registering, you will select your desired sampling region in Minnesota, and will be responsible for surveying that "grid cell." Surveying may be done individually, or with a group of people. If alone, the duration of a single survey is 45 minutes, otherwise your survey time lessens as more people are actively looking for bees (example: 3 surveyors present = 45min/3 = 15min survey time). elect your desired area in the state, or "grid cell," where you'd like to survey for bees.

  1. Curiosity for Nature. This project will require you to be actively exploring outside, so having an interest in insects and flowers certainly helps!

  1. Transportation. You will need a way to get to and from your adopted grid cell.

  1. Camera. Our sampling methods are all catch-and-release as to not harm any bees, and in turn we require high-quality photographs of each collected bee. You may use your smartphone, point-and-shoot camera or any other set up you have.

  1. Internet. To submit your findings, you will need access to the internet. Your data can be submitted through a computer, tablet or smartphone.

What is Helpful to Participate:

  1. An insect net, collecting vials, cooler to temporarily chill collected bumble bees

  2. Basic knowledge of wildflower identification and where to find them!

  3. Local plant identification field guides, or plant identification mobile apps

  4. Book: Bumble Bees of North America

The Training Packet contains more information on supplies.

How to Get Started:

  1. Familiarize yourself with protocols to see if this is a project you'd like to commit to. The best way to do this is by attending a workshop online.

  2. Create a Bumble Bee Watch account, which is a quick and easy process. This is where your bumble bee observations will be stored.

  3. Adopt a grid cell. This is how you register for the project, and lets us know what part of Minnesota you'll be surveying. You may adopt one or more grid cells, and can do so individually or with a group of people.

  4. Plan and carry out your bumble bee surveys! Visit any location within your grid cell two times, at minimum, between mid-June and mid-August.

  5. Submit your findings to Bumble Bee Watch online, or using our mobile app for OIS or Android.

Ready to join? See Sign up page