Scientists Seek Help In Documenting Bee Population

A bee collecting pollen from a flower at the Pollinatrium

The Pollinatrium grows flowers as a resource to pollinators

Masaki Sugimoto/WILL

Scientists at the University of Illinois are asking for help to document the bee population in the region.

The Bee Spotter project allows residents in Illinois, Missouri and Ohio to upload photos and other information about bees in their area.

May Berenbaum is a Professor of Entomology on the Urbana campus. She founded the program in 2007 in response to a decline in bee populations.

“Science is based on knowledge, and you don’t have to have a science degree to generate new knowledge," Berenbaum said. "You can do that with a camera and some, you know, geographic coordinates. That means anybody, technically, can contribute information and expand scientific knowledge.”

Berenbaum says the project contains more than 3000 spottings. That includes documentation of a bee in the Peoria area thought to be locally extinct.

Bee Spotter organizers held their first annual Bee Blitz event in Urbana on Sunday.

Story source: WILL