Getting Started with BeeSpotter

You can become a bee spotter! BeeSpotter allows citizen scientists to contribute to scientific understanding of bee demographics across several states in the Midwest. Here’s how you can participate:

Create an account

You can browse BeeSpotter without logging in, but to contribute bee spottings you’ll need to create a free account.

Create your account!

Photograph bee

Grab your camera or smartphone, head outside, and take some photos of bees! Some things to bear in mind as you go bee spotting:

  • Each spotting should contain only one bee
  • Multiple photos of a single bee are helpful, preferably from different angles
  • Goal is to show as much of the top of the bee as possible
  • Learn more in the Guide to photographing bees for BeeSpotter, including how to take a good photo of a bee and tips for processing your photos

Submit your spotting

You will need to create a separate spotting for each bee you have photographed.

A bee spotting consists of four required components: a date, a title, a location, and at least one photo of the bee. You may also optionally attempt to identify the species of the bee you spotted, using our Bumble Bee Field Guide.

Submit a spotting

See your contribution

After a citizen scientist submits a bee spotting, an expert identifies the spotting before it becomes publicly visible.

By default you will receive an email when the expert identifies your spotting. You can change that setting by updating your BeeSpotter account info.

While you're waiting for your spotting to be identified, why not browse through spottings other citizen scientists have contributed?

Once your bee spotting is publicly visible on BeeSpotter, share the word about bees and citizen science!