Hello AABB Team!
Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who participated in the July Blitz (The AABBB)! It was great to meet some surveyors in person to clear up any confusion and get some great feedback.
It also was amazing to get so much data collected! Here’s the rundown of our Blitz results:
We had a total of 29 surveys submitted by 24 participants across 11 states! These states were MD, VA, NY, CT, NC, OH, NH, MN, MI, GA, and CA.
These surveyors observed 686 bumbles, and 104 carpenter bees in just a single day!!
8 bumble bee species were documented:
- Common Eastern Bumble Bee (B. impatiens)
- Two-Spotted Bumble Bee (B. bimaculatus)
- Brown Belted Bumble Bee (B. griseocollis)
- Half-black bumble bee (B. vagans)
- Confusing Bumble Bee (B. perplexus)
- Black and Gold Bumble Bee (B. auricomus)
- Golden Northern Bumble Bee (B. fervidus)
- American Bumble Bee (B. pensylvanicus)
And, most importantly, a whole bunch of bumble bee floral preferences that we will analyze later.
Thanks again to everyone who participated, and to those who tried but were rained out. Sam and I (and the bumble bees I’m sure) are so grateful to have you all on board!
Hello phenomenal bumble counting team!
The Blitz is finally almost here (tomorrow, July 16th!!), and I hope you’re all excited to get out and collect some data! Just as a reminder, there are two options for participating in the Blitz:
1) Simply go out and do as many surveys as you can tomorrow, and submit your data by midnight the same day. This option is completely independent, can be done anywhere, and is basically surveying as usual.
2) Join a Blitz group to meet up with tomorrow at 10:00 am, and go survey from there! If you’re going with a group, remember that we don’t want to duplicate data. This means multiple people shouldn’t be surveying the same area at the same time. My plan is to meet up and discuss the survey protocol, then send people off to survey different areas within walking distance. If anyone feels uncertain about the procedure, I’ll have them come along with me to watch me complete a survey – but we will only submit one datasheet. After we’re all done, we’ll meet back up to discuss the floral quantification, and any questions that came up.
Here’s the group info again – all groups are planning to meet at 10:00 am EST:
Group 1: Bowie/Laurel, MD – Bee Lab at Patuxent Wildlife Research Refuge with Jenan El-Hifnawi (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Group 2 : Ridgely, MD – Adkins Arboretum with Sam Droege (email@example.com)
Group 3: Loudoun, VA – Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve with Heather Dionne (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Groups 4 and 5: Williamstown, WV – Refuge office at Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge with Elaine Barr and her colleague (email@example.com)
Whether or not you join a group, we want your data for the Blitz! Thank you all for collecting so much amazing data already – I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish tomorrow! 🙂
Ask A Bumble Bee (AABB) Coordinator
Hello lovely beeple! It’s Jenan checking in to give you all an Ask A Bumble Bee update!
If anyone is interested in leading a survey group as part of the Blitz, please shoot me an email! 🙂
Hello bumble hunters! I hope you’ve all been enjoying the warmer weather, and are getting out there to count our fuzzy friends. I’ve been having an amazing time surveying over the past couple weeks as numbers of workers are rising quickly and males are beginning to appear! Earlier in the season I was only seeing a couple bees per survey: all queens, mostly brown-belted (B. griseocollis) and two-spotted (B. bimaculatus). Now most of my surveys in good habitats have upwards of 30 bees each!
In terms of survey updates, I have 3 main things. 1) small updates to the wording of the instructions, 2) A podcast feature! 3) Digital data sheets are available!
1) We revamped our description of “#lots” after receiving lots (get it!) of feedback from the training webinar. Here’s an excerpt of the updated instructions:
# Lots is a measure of floral distribution that explains if flowers are concentrated together in a small area or dispersed across your entire survey area. For # Lots, after completing a survey imagine the path you walked was divided into 25 small house lots. For each blooming plant, estimate how many of those 25 lots the species was in. If you survey a field full of clover with a single apple tree, the clover will be present in almost every lot, so it gets a high number close to 25. The apple tree sits in a small area, so it’s only in 1 lot. Another way to think about this is picturing your survey area as a monopoly board. Roughly how many squares on the board contain a given flower species?
This is a rough estimation of how spread out each flower species is, so don’t worry about determining a precise value. It doesn’t matter how much of each lot is covered by the flower species, only that the species occurs in the lot.
Thanks for all your feedback on this!
2) For a more exciting update, AABB was featured on the Backyard Ecology Podcast!
I chatted with the host, Shannon Trimboli, about an overview of the project, and some ideas relating to bumble bee floral preference. Shannon is amazing, and has put together a really nice podcast if I do say so myself! Give it a listen here if you’re interested. This conversation was super casual and not intended to train anyone on how to survey, so if you’re looking for clarification on the survey protocol, either check out the resources on our website, or shoot me an email. 🙂
3) Ask and you shall receive! Lots of people have asked for online versions of the data sheets. We came up with these Google Sheets/Excel files which you can fill in with your data. I can’t think of a reason to make fillable PDF versions as well as these, so I’m not planning to do that at the moment. If any of you have a reason why a fillable PDF is still needed, let me know and I’m happy to work on it. 🙂
I’ve been receiving tons of data from a lot of participants, and I cannot thank you enough! You all are truly an impressive group of scientists, and I can’t wait to see what we can all achieve together. 🙂
Keep up the good work, and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions! Thank you all again!
Hi all you wonderful beeple!
Webinar aside, thank you all for your hard work this Spring! We have around 130 surveys submitted at the moment, and I’m so excited to keep seeing that number rise. Last year, we only had 99 surveys in the entire season, so this is really awesome! We’ve also surpassed 400 participants registered (WOAH!), and I’ve received surveys from around 35 of you.
Hello! This floral resource survey depends on community scientists like you to observe bees on flowers. Attend the participant training webinar on Friday, May 27th at 10:00AM EASTERN by registering here. Can’t make the session? Check back on May 28th for the webinar recording.
While you don’t need to be able to identify bumble bee or flower species to help with this survey, by participating you’re sure to learn more about these fascinating bees and the flowers they prefer.
Ask A Bumble Bee is sponsored by the USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab and is coordinated by Jenan El-Hifnawi and Sam Droege. The Ask A Bumble Bee website is managed in partnership with Denise Ellsworth at The Ohio State University.