by Frances Fyfe
MANITOULIN—Friends of the Earth Canada is calling on residents of Manitoulin Island to join the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count and help scientists learn more about these important pollinators. All it takes is a simple snap of a picture of bumble bees you see in your garden, park or campsite and upload to bumblebeewatch.org.
The Canadian member of Friends of the Earth International, one of the world’s largest grassroots environmental organizations, is partnering with Bumble Bee Watch to deliver the first ever Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count. Bumble Bee Watch, created by scientists from the Xerces Society, York University and Wildlife Preservation Canada, is an ambitious citizen-science project that asks people to take pictures of bumble bees when they see them, note their location and upload the information online, where they will be verified by a team of researchers. “For our Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count,” the website enthuses, “we want to help Bumble Bee Watch’s researchers by seeing how many bumble bees we can find across Canada from now until August 15!”
Bumble bees are effective pollinators for many of the crops we eat and for many of the wildflowers in our fields and forests, but several of their species are dramatically declining. Though there are over 40 confirmed species of bumble bees in Canada, they have little proper monitoring.
Anyone can help keep track of and protect these bees by participating in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count and joining Bumble Bee Watch today. All you need is a camera and some curiosity to find the bees in your town.
For more information, go online to bumblebeewatch.org.