This is the big kickoff year for WiBee Wisconsin Wild Bee App project. Thank you to all the cranberry growers and crop scouts that participated last year! We’re hoping for another good year of cranberry pollinator counts!
The WiBee project started with growers asking if they had enough pollination on their farm from wild bees alone. Since bloom for many crops is short, and conditions are different from farm to farm around the state, the Gratton lab at UW-Madison developed a free smart phone app, called WiBee, that’s easy to use so that growers or crop scouts or anyone out during bloom can do quick 5 minute surveys and send it in to the data pool. This can be a really powerful set-up if a lot of people can participate, because it can be so much more representative than if just one group of people tried to collect all the data, and the results can be more specific to an orchard or farm. I’m trying to contact farms/orchards to invite them to do a few short surveys, if they have time. The more surveys we receive, the more reliable conclusions we get on wild bee pollination.
Participation starts with 4 steps:
1) Download the app (easiest to do inside with wifi and email access nearby). Once it’s downloaded surveys can be done without cell reception.
2) Learn the 6 pollinator groups (Honey, Bumble, Large Dark, Small Dark, Green, and Non Bee). There are pages are also available on the app. Here’s a 1 page printable PDF that has all the info in one place and can be taken in the field. Once people know “non-bees” and “honey bees” the rest are pretty self-explanatory.
3) Take Bee Quiz in the app (app requires this one time quiz prior to first survey).
4) Learn survey protocol (3x3ft area, count flower visits for 5 minutes. For best statistics on our end, repeat 3xday on 3 days for one spot/plant species). Here’s the 1 Page printable PDF. The “take another survey” button at the end of a survey preloads your previous location etc. and is a quick way to get 3 surveys done in a day. We are able to offer a $50 honorarium for growers/scouts/others that complete 9 surveys, 3 per day for 3 days.
Then survey away!
Tip- for people who dowloaded the app last year-check for updates. Go to the App store, search WiBee and look for an “update” button next to the name like this:
Many people’s phones update automatically, so they will just see “open” next to the name or something like that.
There’s more info on the website: https://pollinators.wisc.edu/wibee/ . And questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
People can track bees on their property and can go into more depth into the bees and the data if they want (we love talking about bees!). But we tried to make the survey process straightforward and quick for participants.
Thanks and looking forward to seeing cranberry surveys this year!This article was posted in Cranberry and tagged Colleen Satyshur, Pollination, pollinators, WiBee, wild bees, Wisconsin bees.