Help us fill this grid!
The Alaska Bee Atlas is a program to attain a baseline collection to determine biodiversity of bees in Alaska. This will allow us to identify regions, habitats, and species that are of conservation concern and more effectively target specific monitoring actions. This is accomplished by supplying researchers and community scientists with kits to survey for bees across the state.
Pollinators play a key ecological role that directly and indirectly affects wildlife and their habitat. Many species of plants are completely or partially dependent on pollinators for fruit and seed production, and many mammals and birds are reliant on fruits. Pollinators indirectly affect wildlife diversity and populations by promoting seed production of keystone food resources.
There are 22 species of bumble bees (Bombus sp.) found in Alaska which have been well documented across the state in a multitude of habitats, though less in the western and arctic regions. Some of the earliest bumble bee collections for the region date back to the late 1800’s. Even with a long history of collections, new species are still being discovered in Alaska. Only one monitoring program has been initiated in the state and it was solely focused on bumble bees in an agricultural setting. While the diversity of bumble bees is reasonably known, the diversity and distribution of nonsocial, or solitary bees, in Alaska is very poorly known. Data are often concentrated around larger cities and the road system, limiting our understanding of their presence and importance statewide. With new state records for solitary bees, syrphid flies, and new species to science being found in Alaska in recent years, the diversity and distribution of pollinators of the region are not yet fully known. Efforts to initiate a statewide biodiversity collection protocol are therefore warranted given the limitations of baseline knowledge, coupled with conservation concerns and ecological importance of the group.
Do you want to participate and help up discover more about the diverse bees of Alaska?
Step 1: read over the short protocol description and requirements below to decide if you can make the commitment.
Alaska Bee Atlas Participation Requirements, Click to expand 👇
Please read through the following questions to understand the commitment required.
1. Will you be traveling to a location in Alaska that is a sampling priority? (see sampling priority grid at top of the page)
2.Will you have time to do one of the following types of surveys?
a. Bee bowls: lowest time commitment and effort. Bee bowl traps are placed in a habitat for 24 to 72 hours and insects are collected at the end of the sampling time frame.
b. Blue vane trap: low time commitment but additional 15 minutes of effort. A blue vane trap (BVT) is placed at a site location for 24 to 72 hours. This can be done independently or in conjunction with the bee bowls.
c. Net capture: This will be an active 20 min. sampling effort of netting bees. This is particularly useful if participants are not at a location for a long period of time. A non-kill method is also available but is only useful for bumble bees. The non-kill netting method is the only approach we recommend in the spring to limit the killing of bumble bee queens.3. Will you be able to communicate with an Atlas member through email in a timely manner in order to: receive a survey kit, email datasheets and pictures, and mail specimens and survey kit back to the Atlas member?
If you answered yes to all three questions, please continue to step 2.
Map of sampling events for the Alaska Bee Atlas from 2018-2021. Clicking on an event will list Date, Lat/Long, Collector Name, Number of Bees Collected, and Species.Top of Page
ResourcesTop of Page
TrainingTop of Page
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Justin Fulkerson: jrfulkerson (at) alaska.edu
More Info on Pollinators in Alaska
Want to know more information about pollinators in Alaska? Please visit the Alaska Center for Conservation Science (ACCS) webpage where you can find pollinator conservation assessments and NatureServe ranks, information about past and current pollinator projects, view photo galleries, learn about the Alaska Pollinator Coordination Group, and more!