Every Spring and Summer there are bumble bees in the small garden in front of the Museum of Biological Diversity at Ohio State University.
They are attracted to the Purple Coneflowers, Queen Anne’s Lace (wild carrot), Mint, and other flowering plants that happen to grow over there.
Bumble bees are fascinating creatures. They play a vital role in our environment, and they are beautiful, too! I am interested in learning more about bumble bees and I am concerned about their future in a rapidly changing world.
For a few years now I’ve been taking photos of the ‘Museum bumble bees’ whenever I have a chance. Sunny, warm days are the best to observe and photograph these hard-working insects. I also keep records of when I took the photos and what kinds of plants where flowering in the garden at the time.
This year I contributed some of my photos and observations to Bumblebee Watch, “a collaborative effort to track and conserve North America’s bumble bees“. This citizen science project is an opportunity for anyone who’s interested in bumble bees to contribute to their conservation by adding precious species distribution information to the site in the form of photos and dots on the map. If everyone who takes a photo of a bumble bee in the USA would submit the image (and where it was taken) to the site, scientists would have a very large amount of important distribution records to work with. The more we know about the bumble bees the better our chances to help them survive.
Bumble Bee Watch (and one of my photos) were featured on the Metro section of the Columbus Dispatch on July 17.
It’s easy to contribute to the site and you can later see your contribution on the Bumble Bee Watch map. My observations and photos are now showing as a little green dot right on 1315 Kinnear Road (the Museum address) in Columbus, Ohio.
PS. The species identifications were provided by the Bumble Bee Watch Project identifiers.
About the Author: Luciana Musetti is the Curator of the Triplehorn Insect Collection at Ohio State University. All photos by the author.