BeeBlitz

Thank you for making the fourth Annual BeeBlitz a great success! Check back here in 2019 to find details for the next BeeBlitz.

About the BeeBlitz

Join us on Saturday, June 16, 2018 for the fourth annual BeeBlitz!

Get involved: Snap, Upload, Contribute!

Mark your calendar for the fourth annual BeeBlitz kicking off National Pollinator Week. Nature lovers and concerned citizens in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio are invited to get outside and snap pictures of honey & bumble bees on Saturday, June 16th. Then, upload your findings to BeeSpotter, the citizen science project run in collaboration between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Department of Entomology and the Office for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education.

The name BeeBlitz is derived from a BioBlitz, an activity in which all of the biodiversity in a specific area is examined, to provide a snapshot in time of the flora and fauna present. We want to know what species of honey & bumble bees are seen, and where they are, on this day. We encourage veteran and aspiring bee spotters alike to venture out on a nature walk and participate in the blitz.

BeeBlitz Events

If you are coordinating a BeeBlitz event in your area, please let us know so we can include your event in our listing!

Events in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

We have a number of BeeBlitz events scheduled throughout the day for the Champaign-Urbana area. You can help us plan by letting us know you're interested, though you're welcome to participate even if you don't sign up in advance.

Let us know you're coming to the C-U BeeBlitz!

  • 6/16/2018 10:30AM - Noon: Meadowbrook Park


    Garden Pavilion, Meadowbrook Park
    (Race St. entrance)
    Learn about Meadowbrook Park

    A guided expedition through Meadowbrook Park's Sensory Garden and Spomer Prairie is departing from the Garden Pavilion. Bring your camera or smartphone and comfortable walking shoes, and be ready for an adventure! Call 217-384-4062 by Friday, June 15 to let us know you are coming.

    View an annotated map of Meadowbrook Park (PDF).

    The Meadowbrook Park BeeBlitz is part of a series of outdoor events taking place at Meadowbrook Park on June 16, 2018. Check out A Day At Meadowbrook Park and plan a whole day of outdoor adventures!

  • 6/16/2018 Noon - 4:30PM: BeeBlitz at the Pollinatarium

    Join us at the Pollinatarium on June 16, from Noon - 4:30PM to kick off another National Pollinator Week. The University of Illinois Pollinatarium is the first free-standing science center in the nation devoted to flowering plants and their pollinators. It's surrounded by prairie, so it's the perfect place to spot some bees!

    We will venture out into the fields surrounding the Pollinatarium and photograph honey & bumble bees, then upload the photos to BeeSpotter. We encourage you to bring your camera or smartphone, though we will have cameras available for those who need one. We will also have computers available so you can upload your spottings immediately, should you wish to do so.

    This event is free and open to the public. Feel free to come for the whole time or stop in for only part of the event. We'd love to have you join us, even if only for 20-30 minutes!

Events in Dundee Township, Illinois

  • 6/16/2018 8:00AM - Noon: Dixie Briggs Fromm Nature Preserve


    Dixie Briggs Fromm Conservation Area
    Dundee Township, IL 60118
    View Dixie Briggs Fromm Conservation Area on a map

    Nature lovers and concerned citizens are invited to join us in kicking off National Pollinator Week with the Annual Bee Blitz!

    Meet at Dixie Briggs Fromm Preserve dressed in long pants, a hat and good walking shoes. If you are applying bug spray please do so before entering the preserve. The township will provide water and granola bars at the sign in station. Local entomologist Chris K is leading this event for all ages. Groups will head out into the preserve searching for bees to photograph. Photographs of bees will be submitted to BeeSpotter after the event. Findings of species and locations will be documented for the public to view.

    Participants are welcome to stay for the event as long as they desire.

    Biologists have already documented rare bee species at Dixie Briggs Preserve, so this treasure hunt is sure to be a treat for all pollinator lovers!

    No experience is necessary. If you want to learn more about the Annual Bee Blitz or photographing bees, you can read BeeSpotter's Guide to photographing bees

    Park and enter at the Eastmoor Lane Entrance.

Events in St. Charles, Illinois

  • 6/17/2018 1:00PM - 2:30PM: Creek Bend Nature Center


    Creek Bend Nature Center
    LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
    37W700 Dean St.
    St. Charles, IL 60175
    View Creek Bend Nature Center on a map
    Creating Healthy Habitat for the Rusty-patched Bumblebee

    In 2017 the Rusty-Patched Bumblebee became the first bumblebee to be listed as federally endangered. Discover the life history of this important pollinator species, and learn about recovery efforts that are underway in Illinois.

    Presenter Fayette Aurelia Nichols is active in the restoration of habitat for the Rusty-patched Bumblebee and will share her extensive knowledge of the bee’s habitat requirements, challenges in management of natural areas for this species, and how to recognize potential habitat for species recovery.

    After a presentation indoors, we’ll head out into the prairie to find native pollinators. We’ll observe the differences between the European honeybee and several species of native bumblebees.

    Participation information:

  • 6/17/2018 3:00PM - 5:00PM: Creek Bend Nature Center


    Creek Bend Nature Center
    LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
    37W700 Dean St.
    St. Charles, IL 60175
    View Creek Bend Nature Center on a map
    Bee Blitz!

    The best way to learn is by doing – and in this class, you’ll do both!

    The Forest Preserve District’s Natural Resources team will provide an introduction to monitoring local bee populations via photography. After instruction in general bee identification and monitoring protocol, we’ll go out into the prairie to get data.

    You’ll be assigned a pre-determined monitoring spot for photographing the bees. You can use the camera on your phone, a digital SLR, or any "point-and-shoot" camera. The District ecologist will then download all the data collected. This BeeBlitz will provide baseline data that will help guide future management decisions.

    Participation information:

Events in St. Louis, Missouri

Registration is required, but the event is FREE and OPEN to anyone over the age of 10. Space is limited, so please register early. To register a group of more than 4 people, please contact Nicole Miller-Struttmann (email: nicolem42@webster.edu, office: 314-246-7628, or cell: 314-218-5307).

Register for the St. Louis BeeBlitz!

  • 6/16/2018 ALL DAY: St. Louis Science Center


    GROW! Exhibit
    St. Louis Science Center
    5050 Oakland Ave
    St. Louis, MO 63110
    View St. Louis Science Center on a map

    Join the educators at the St. Louis Science Center's outdoor agricultural exhibit, GROW!, as they invite the public to participate in the BeeBlitz!

    The GROW! exhibit features a bumblebee nest and various displays on pollinators.

Events in Rock Creek, Ohio

Preparing to BeeBlitz

While you're out helping to track bee demographics, it's also important to take care of yourself! Here are some things to remember while BeeBlitzing:

  • Water
  • Snacks (trail mix, granola/nut bar, etc.)
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • More water!
  • Long pants
  • Good walking shoes
  • Bug spray
  • Still more water!
  • And of course: a camera or smartphone! (Note: if you're going to be in the field for an extended period of time, you might need a portable battery charger as well)

Getting involved

We will be partnering with parks, schools, museums, and zoos to offer local BeeBlitz events in as many communities as possible. If there's no event in your area, don't worry, you can still participate. All you have to do is go outside and take a few bee photos on June 16, and upload them to BeeSpotter. You don't need to upload them immediately; just be sure to select the correct date when uploading. They will automatically be counted as part of the BeeBlitz collection!

If you are interested in coordinating a BeeBlitz event in your area, please let us know so we can include your event in our listing!

You can help us spread the word about the BeeBlitz by distributing these BeeBlitz announcement fliers to anyone you think might be interested!

Getting Started with BeeSpotter

BeeBlitz News & Publicity

We will update this page with relevant news articles as they are posted.

Questions?

If you are interested in coordinating a BeeBlitz event in your area or have questions for us, please contact us; we'd love to highlight your efforts or answer your questions!