About Bumble Bee Watch

What is Bumble Bee Watch?

Bumble Bee Watch is a collaborative effort to track and conserve North America’s bumble bees. This community science project allows for individuals to:

  • Upload photos of bumble bees to start a virtual bumble bee collection;
  • Identify the bumble bees in your photos and have your identifications verified by experts;
  • Help researchers determine the status and conservation needs of bumble bees;
  • Help locate rare or endangered populations of bumble bees;
  • Learn about bumble bees, their ecology, and ongoing conservation efforts; and
  • Connect with other community scientists.

How can you participate?

We need your help! Because these animals are widely distributed the best way to keep track of them is with a group of volunteers across the country equipped with cameras. With any luck, you might help us to find remnant populations of rare species before they go extinct. Participating in Bumble Bee Watch is simple and you can get started now by creating an account via the “sign in” tab at the top of the page. Once you have an account, go out and check your garden, in parks, or any other natural areas you frequent for bumble bees. Remember not to trespass as you search for bumble bees. Be sure to snap a photo (learn more about how to photograph bees) and then sign in and submit your data via our Bumble Bee Sightings form. Have fun while learning more about bumble bees and the vital role they play in our environment! If you’re interested in conducting more in-depth surveys, see if our Bumble Bee Atlas program is active in your state!

Other ways you can help:

  • Create habitat! You can find more information about how to create bumble bee habitat at www.xerces.org/bumblebees.
  • Support local and organic agriculture. Many pesticides are harmful to bumblebee colonies and many vegetable and fruit plants provide great food sources for bees.
  • Spread the word! Many people are afraid of bumble bees and other insects. Let your friends and family know how important they are and encourage them to take photos too!


Founding Partners and Scientific Advisors



Many individuals with significant expertise in the identification of bumble bees are helping to verify the identities of bumble bees in submitted photos. This project would not be possible without the contributions of these individuals. Many thanks to the following bumble bee experts:


We are grateful to the following individuals that contributed to Bumble Bee Watch, but are unfortunately no longer with us:

Stay in touch!

Follow Bumble Bee Watch through our Twitter and Facebook accounts to get tips on what bumble bees to look for and up to date news about our project.

Or contact us here

If you have questions or comments, you can reach us here: bumblebeewatch@xerces.org.