Although we estimate there are 500 species of bees in Oregon, there has never been a concerted survey of the state’s bees. Without even a checklist of species, it is very difficult to know whether the health of Oregon bees is improving or declining. The Oregon Bee Atlas represents the first steps towards confronting the gulf in our knowledge about the bees of Oregon.
The success of the Oregon Bee Atlas, like Oregon Flora, rests on the shoulders of committed volunteers. The Oregon Bee Atlas' four year mission (2018-2021) is to train volunteers to explore Oregon Counties, to seek out new native bee records for the state, to boldly go where no amateur melittologist has gone before! These new specimen records will be added to newly digitized historic records from the Oregon State Arthropod Collection to build the first comprehensive account of the native bee fauna of Oregon. Volunteers are also assisting with new survey initiatives, notably the new Pacific Northwest Bumble Bee Atlas led by the Xerces Society.
The Atlas is an initiative of Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon State University Pollinator Health Program and Oregon State Arthropod Collection and is currently supported by generous contributions from the FFAR Pollinator Health Fund, GloryBee, Central Oregon Seeds, and the Oregon State Beekeepers Association.
How can you get involved?
We are building regional monitoring teams — made up of motivated groups & individuals like you — to help us create a robust network across the state. For those willing and able to lead a group, we provide training, supplies, and ongoing support. We will train you on how to collect bees, curate them and we will identify the bees.
Collecting teams are now full for 2018. If you are interested in joining future collecting teams, or would like to contribute your time to the Oregon Bee Atlas in other ways, please fill out our Oregon Bee Atlas Interest Form. Thank you!