The decline of pollinators around the world has potential negative consequences for agriculture and ecological health. Pollinators include a wide variety of species including bees, butterflies, beetles, birds, and bats. These species are critical to the transfer of pollen between flowers that allow many wildflowers and agricultural crops to reproduce. In agricultural areas such as the Midwest, studies have reported that nearly half of native bee species have disappeared from their historic ranges in the past century. However, few studies have examined the status of pollinators in urban regions. 
     In 2018, Project Bee Watch began as a partnership with Allegheny Land Trust and citizen scientists to assess the diversity and population status of pollinators in southwestern Pennsylvania. The scope of the project is local to ensure that there is a "human connection" with the volunteers. This is the first study in this region to use citizen scientists to gather critical data on pollinators in a predominantly urban region. Citizen scientists are trained on how to survey pollinators, then conduct independent surveys between May and October. The data is collected, analyzed, and disseminated by Professor Matthew Opdyke at Point Park University. Funding to implement the project was awarded by Point Park University's Department of Community Engagement and Center for Inclusive Excellence.
Project Bee Watch 2018 Summary Report
     In 2019, the project has expanded to include the following community partners and their properties:  Allegheny Land Trust (Audubon Greenway), Allegheny County Parks Department (Latodami Nature Center at North Park), and Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy (Schenley and Frick Parks). Anyone interested in participating in Project Bee Watch are encouraged to contact Matthew Opdyke. Training materials are available below.
Training Manual for Audubon Greenway

Data Sheet for Audubon Greenway

Training Manual for Latodami Nature Center

Data Sheet for Latodami Nature Center

Training Manual for Schenley and Frick Parks

Data Sheet for Schenley and Frick Parks
 

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