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Development of Wild Bee Inventory, Monitoring, and Research Projects

The USGS Native Bee Laboratory has advised and developed inventory, monitoring, and research projects for and with many refuges, parks, and academic projects at private, state, and federal levels. We have collected (~600k) or seen collections of bees from every state.

Over the two decades we have been developing and running surveys, we have tried many approaches to the capture and monitoring or bees.  We have had our share of failures, and seen plenty of others, but over time developed and refined the available suite of survey techniques, sampling patterns, frameworks, use of volunteers, and project management to deliver results.  We are happy to share those results.

We have worked with two groups to distill some of this information into a set of manuals.  Our favorite one is the Very Handy Bee Manual and the more prescriptive Native Bee Monitoring Manual for USFWS.  Note that there is no “standard” or “national” monitoring protocol for native bees.  Each project that wants to study bees needs to craft a sampling protocol that meets their individual needs. 

We are happy to help review and develop such projects.   We have already made most of the mistakes, no need for you to repeat them!

Some of past Bee Lab projects include:climactically vulnerable coastal dune and high elevation sites on 75 national parks; bee inventories in Region 5 of the National Wildlife Refuges; xeric sites of the Northeastern United States; New York Native Bee Atlas; Kruger National Park; APHIS invasive wasp and bee monitoring project; Bumble Bee surveys of West Virginia and the chain of National Parks from Virginia to Tennessee; advising and reviewing numerous academic, state, federal research projects.