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9th Annual BeeBlitz

Posted on: 6/9/2023 6:22 PM

Join BeeSpotter on Saturday, June 24, 2023 for the ninth annual BeeBlitz, to celebrate National Pollinator Week!

On Saturday, June 24th, all residents of Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, and Ohio are invited to canvas their backyards and neighborhoods for bees, snap some pics, and upload them to BeeSpotter. 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. BeeSpotter wants to know what species of honey & bumble bees are seen, and where they are, on the weekend of the 24th. We encourage veteran and aspiring bee spotters alike to venture out on a nature walk and participate in the blitz.

Visit the BeeBlitz webpage to learn more. Data Visualization Map Updates

Posted on: 4/27/2023 9:11 AM
Topics: [ Announcements ] [ Resources ] [ Science ] [ Technology ] has been updated to include cold chain food flows! Food Flows is a website that visualizes food flow data between counties across the US based on research from Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Megan Konar and her team.

Visit to interact with and download original food flow data, food flow data in time, and cold chain food flow data.

The Food Flows website was developed and designed by MSTE's Michael McKelvey and Christina Tran.

Bumble bee queens are out and about!

Posted on: 4/13/2023 4:34 PM
Topics: [ BeeSpotter ] [ Outreach ] [ Science ]

It seems spring is finally here - the BeeSpotter team has begun seeing bumble bee queens out and about! The first one we spotted was on April 2 at Allerton Park near Monticello, Illinois. It was flying around in an area with a few blooming Dutchman's breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) and common periwinkle (Vinca minor). It was the only queen observed that afternoon, and was an early emerger relative to the availability of flowers blooming. It was either B. griseocollis or B. impatiens - unfortunately, we didn't get a photo of that one, but we do have photos of a Bombus impatiens queen and a Bombus bimaculatus queen, both taken this past weekend!

This is an excellent time to get out and start spotting bees, as you're more likely to spot a queen at the beginning of the season than any other time! Get Started with BeeSpotter to help contribute to community science!

Now Available! "Discovering Computer Science & Programming Through Scratch" for Scratch 3.0

Posted on: 3/20/2023 12:04 PM
Topics: [ Announcements ] [ Education ] [ Resources ] [ Science ] [ Technology ]

The "Discovering Computer Science & Programming Through Scratch" books are updated for Scratch 3.0!

This curriculum teaches the fundamentals of programming with creative activities and challenges using Scratch, a free coding platform for children. With these books, students will be prepared to write their own programs!

Visit the 4-H store to purchase the "Discovering Computer Science and Programming Through Scratch" books for your students.

BeeSpotter presents at Wild Things 2023 conference

Posted on: 2/27/2023 12:41 PM

This past Saturday, BeeSpotter webmaster Michael McKelvey and identifier Terry Miesle presented at the biennial Wild Things conference in the Chicagoland area. The talk, titled BeeSpotter Update: Bumblebee Sightings and Historical Comparison, informed attendees about participating in citizen science bee monitoring projects like BeeSpotter, and showed comparisons of historic (pre-1980 data) with contemporary (2018-2022) data using heatmaps.

View the Google Slides slidedeck.