Grab Your Camera…Bumble Bee Watch is Here!

January 22, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:
Rich Hatfield, Conservation Biologist, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation; (503) 468-8405, rich@xerces.org
Scott Hoffman Black, Executive Director, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation; (503) 449-3792, sblack@xerces.org

Grab Your Camera…Bumble Bee Watch is Here!

New web site is launched to help identify and protect bumble bees

PORTLAND, Ore—A new web site launched today allows people to be directly involved in protecting bumble bees throughout North America. BumbleBeeWatch.org enables people to connect with experts and other enthusiasts, and help build a comprehensive picture of where bumble bees are thriving and where they need help.

Furry, hardworking bumble bees are essential to wildlands, gardens, and farms, helping to deliver food security for both people and wildlife alike. Alarmingly, many recent reports suggest that we may be losing their familiar buzz from our summer landscapes due to habitat loss, insecticide use, disease, and climate change. More information is needed to determine their conservation status, and that process demands a continent-wide collaborative effort.

“We have an amazing community of citizen scientists who have helped us follow a handful of bee species,” said Rich Hatfield, the Xerces Society conservation biologist who coordinated creation of Bumble Bee Watch. “Hopefully this new web site will generate greater awareness and allow us to draw more people into this community.”

A smartphone or simple digital camera (and a computer) is all that’s needed to start exploring BumbleBeeWatch.org. In addition to uploading photos of bumble bees, individuals can identify the bumble bees, learn about their ecology, and connect with bumble bee experts and other citizen scientists engaged in pollinator conservation.

The information gathered will help locate rare or endangered populations, as well as track species whose status is less well known. “Bumble Bee Watch will greatly benefit our at-risk pollinator conservation program,” said Sheila Colla, project leader for Wildlife Preservation Canada’s At-Risk Pollinator Project, a partner in Bumble Bee Watch. “By locating rare bumble bee populations and collecting information on their ecological requirements, citizen scientists can help conserve these important insects.”

Bumble Bee Watch is a partnership between the Xerces Society, Wildlife Preservation Canada, the University of Ottawa, the Montreal Insectarium, the Natural History Museum in London, and BeeSpotter.

“Bumble Bee Watch unites scientists and conservation organizations in Canada and the United States in the study and protection of North America’s bumble bees,” said Scott Black, executive director of the Xerces Society. “We are grateful for the hard work and commitment that our partners have made. This web site will transform the way bumble bees are viewed and protected.”

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For More Information

Learn more about BumbleBeeWatch.org:
• Watch this video to learn how to contribute your photos, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7Kp3Awf2MQ
• Learn how to take helpful photos of bumble bees, www.bumblebeewatch.org/contents/photo-tips/
• Meet the Bumble Bee Watch partners, http://bumblebeewatch.org/contents/about/

Watch the Bumble Bee Watch trailer video on YouTube, http://youtu.be/vTLKMAtXGnA

Read more about bumble bees at risk on Xerces’ Project Bumble Bee web page, http://www.xerces.org/bumblebees/

About the Xerces Society
Protecting the Life that Sustains Us
The Xerces Society is a nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. Since 1971, the Society has been at the forefront of invertebrate protection, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programs worldwide. To learn more about our work or to donate to the Society, please visit www.xerces.org.


The Xerces Society • 628 NE Broadway Ste 200, Portland OR 97232 USA • tel 855.232.6639 • fax 503.233.6794 • info@xerces.org
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