Things to bring with you
Paper maps can help you to mark out your grid and ensure your safety during your survey.
A camera (ideally with a macro lens) or a smartphone is needed for photographing bees during the survey process. There are several apps available for both iPhone and Android that can enhance your photo-taking skills with a microscope feature.
If you are using a camera, remember to bring extra batteries.
Some survey participants prefer to catch bumble bees using an insect net. A net can be beneficial for hard-to-reach bees on tall flowering plants.
There are a variety of options for coolers. A softer cooler or one with backpack straps can be easier to carry around while in the field.
Small tupperware containers can work great for catching bees, and you may already have some at home.
These are another form of tupperware that you may already have at home.
Urine sample cups are also great for catching bees and are very affordable.
Other small clear containers can also work to catch bees.
Make sure you have either a GPS unit or a smartphone that can access either Google or Apple Maps, as you need to record your exact location in the data sheets.
Remember to bring a hat and sunscreen while you are out in the field on your survey. It is important to protect yourself, especially during the peak of the summer when you are out looking for bumble bees.
You need a timer to record your 45 minute survey. You can use your smartphone, a small kitchen timer, or even a watch.
Again, don't forget to take care of yourself! Water is necessary to keep you hydrated during your survey.
The use of a field guide, either for plants or bumble bees, can help you make accurate identifications during your survey. We recommend using a guide that you are familiar with to aid in making correct identifications.
A notebook can be helpful to document any other observations that you make during the survey process.
A hand lens can be very helpful in identifying bumble bee species.
You don't have to survey alone! Bringing a friend or family member can make for a fun experience and enhance your safety.