Special Edition: Pollinators in Action

This special edition of Plants Plus is a unique “learn by doing” module and here for a limited time, through mid-October. Take advantage of this to get out into a garden (safely and abiding by all current Program health guidance regarding COVID-19) to do this cool continuing ed opportunity.

Total Continuing Education hours: 2 total (1 hour for each section, you can opt to do one or both. Let us know what you did in the REPORT section.)

What does this module include?

  • Citizen science opportunity: Track pollinators in your garden using a new, UW-developed app on your smartphone and contribute to a UW research project
  • Perform a pollinator habitat assessment

DO: Track your local wild bees with WiBee

Start by reading this short informational article from the Gratton lab at UW-Madison:

Are you interested in learning about and collecting data on the wild bee community pollinating vegetable blooms and wildflowers in your area? The Gratton Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison created a new smartphone app for growers and citizen scientists to help collect data on wild bee pollination across the state. The abundance and composition of wild bee communities varies on a local level, so the research team designed a smartphone app to invite growers and citizens to help collect data on wild bees across Wisconsin’s diverse landscapes.

If you would like to participate in the WiBee citizen science project, you can download WiBee: The Wisconsin Wild Bee App on your smartphone or tablet from the App Store or the Google Play Store. After spending a little time familiarizing yourself with the wild bee groups we are using for our project, you can begin completing 5-minute observation surveys of bees visiting blooming flowers in your area. At this time of year, the research team is encouraging participants to survey bees visiting cucumber, squash and melon plants (which are highly dependent on insect pollinators), as well as wildflowers.

Once you begin completing bee surveys, you can explore your own survey data within the app.

To explore the statewide citizen science data collected so far this year, check out the WiBee Data Dashboard: https://data-viz.it.wisc.edu/wibee/.

As a thank you for your participation this year, the research team is offering a $50 incentive to users who complete a series of 9 bee surveys. Learn more about the project at www.pollinators.wisc.edu/wibee.

Instructions to earn 1 hour of CE:

  • Visit the WiBee website: https://pollinators.wisc.edu/wibee/
  • Read the information at the start and then the instructions under Learn How to Get Started- there is also a great video to help explain things. See below for specifics on what you need to do to earn the 1 hour of CE.
    • Do Instruction #1, including both reading the Bee ID Guide and taking the Am I a Bee? Quiz
    • Read the Protocol in Instruction #2
    • Perform 3 bee surveys using the correct protocol. You don’t need to do them all at once or on the same day, but three total surveys need to be done to earn the 1 hour of CE for this section.

DO: Pollinator Habitat Assessment

Instructions to earn 1 hour of CE:

  • Visit the Wisconsin Pollinator Habitat Assessment page: https://pollinators.wisc.edu/habitat/
  • Read the first part of the page and complete Steps 1-3
    • Step 1: Pick a location
    • Step 2: You can do this part with a smartphone or tablet OR you can print off a paper copy of the PDF form
    • Step 3: Read the Pollinator Habitat Guide and select two resources to read in the Other Resources to Create Pollinator Habitat page (for a total of three resources).

REPORT: Let us know what you did

Let us know what activities you completed in this module by filling out this short form. Note: you need to fill out the form to claim the hours.

Report your continuing education hours in the Online Reporting System.