April 27, 2017

MDIFW NEWS -- Maine Bumble Bee Atlas Volunteers Needed, Register Now -- Space Is Limited

AUGUSTA, Maine -- The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is seeking volunteers to assist in the Maine Bumble Bee Atlas, a five-year, statewide survey looking to document the different species of bumble bees in Maine, their range, and their abundance. Volunteers are welcome from anywhere in Maine, but this year we are especially looking for participants from the northern and eastern halves of the state to fill survey gaps in Aroostook, Washington, Hancock and northern Penobscot counties.

There are still spots open at two volunteer training workshops. The 2017 workshops are scheduled for:

• Saturday, May 6th at the University of Maine in Orono; 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

• Saturday, June 10th at the Houlton High School; 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The workshops are free, you only need to attend one, and lunch is provided.

Attendees will be trained in a standardized survey and data collection protocol, and project staff will give presentations on bumble bee life history, ecology, and conservation.

Preregistration is required, as workshop space is limited and open to adults only. You can pre-register by filling out and emailing this form (link to form). Before you register, please read the “Frequently Asked Questions” for an explanation of what volunteering for MBBA entails. If it still sounds like fun, fill out the attached pre-registration form and return to the MBBA Project Coordinator Beth Swartz at beth.swartz@maine.gov. A confirmation email will be sent once your form has been processed.

You can find out more information at http://mainebumblebeeatlas.umf.maine.edu/announcements/

The Maine Bumble Bee Atlas, coordinated in partnership with the University of Maine at Orono and Farmington, is modeled after MDIFW’s highly successful Maine Butterfly Survey and Maine Damselfly and Dragonfly Survey, which marshal the efforts of volunteer citizen scientists from across Maine to increase our knowledge on the status of the state’s insect fauna. Participants do not need to have prior experience in surveying for bees – just an interest and willingness to learn and contribute data to the project.

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