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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

1st Annual Backyard Bumble Bee Count Project

Region 3, September 30, 2019
Project banner for Backyard Bumble Bee Count 2019
Project banner for Backyard Bumble Bee Count 2019 - Photo Credit: n/a

The 1st Annual Backyard Bumble Bee Count took place July 13-21, 2019. Backyard Bumble Bee Count is an iNatualist citizen science project that was developed by the Service in partnership with various organizations and agencies committed to conserving the endangered rusty patched bumble bee and all bumble bees. The purpose of the Backyard Bumble Count is to enlist the help of those interested in documenting bumble bee occurrence and relative abundance in the eastern United States. Anyone, anywhere with an iNaturalist account can take part in this project.


Entries to the project require photos to verify identifications for each species at each observation location, along with numbers of each species observed and the length of the observation time. We asked participants to photograph and count bumble bees on one or more days of the 9-day event and report their sightings online at inaturalist.org or through the iNaturalist app. Each sighting and count submitted during the Backyard Bumble Bee Count helps researchers learn more about how bumble bees are doing and how to protect them and the environment we share.

There was a total of 614 bumble bee observations from over 90 observers submitted in the first year of the project. Also, 26 total species were observed over the 9-day observation period, with 2 new rusty patched bumble bee records!

Contact Info: Jill Utrup, 952-252-0092, ext. 207, jill_utrup@fws.gov