WiBee Newsletter – May 18, 2023

It’s May and the bees are out!  Plus app fixes, initiatives, and upcoming events.

IMPORTANT: A new version of the WiBee app (1.28) is NOW AVAILABLE.  Please visit the App Store or Google Play to update your app.  If you’ve been having trouble doing surveys, the new version should fix the problem.  You may also notice that we updated our app icon with a higher contrast icon in the new version.


So far we have over 400 WiBee surveys from about 20 participants this spring. This is a great start! Due to the glitch in the previous version of the app not all of these surveys are visible in the Data Dashboard yet but we will work on correcting the database so you can explore all of the data. The surveys are recorded in our database but the timestamp was recorded incorrectly so the dashboard has filtered them out. Once we update the database the surveys should show up on the dashboard. Keep up the great work!


You may have noticed we added a new section to the pre-survey screen in WiBee called “Initiatives”.  These buttons are for specific programs in partnership with several groups around the state we have going and we wanted to tell you a bit more about what these are all about.

Master Gardeners

Part of the Master Gardener program requires participants to complete a certain number of volunteer hours per year.  During the pandemic the regular options for completing these hours became limited.  As a result, we teamed up with Wisconsin Master Gardeners to provide a COVID-safe volunteer option by completing WiBee surveys.  If you are a Master Gardener and would like to continue to use WiBee for your official volunteer hours, you can select this initiative so your surveys are included in our year end report to the Master Gardeners office.

No Mow May

There’s been a lot of buzz about “No Mow May” recently.  The goal of No Mow May is to encourage people to provide early floral resources to pollinators at a time of year when few resources are available.  If your lawn is all grass, No Mow May may not be the right option for you and you’d probably be better off focusing on providing floral resources elsewhere in your yard.  But if you have flowers like clover and dandelions coming up between the grass, delaying your mowing until later in the season could be a big help to the bees.

This spring, we are teaming up with community scientists like you to do a pilot study in Sun Prairie (WI) to see how No Mow May influences pollinators.  Participants are doing WiBee surveys on mowed and unmowed plots in their yard or city parks.  Even if you don’t live in Sun Prairie, we welcome you to participate. (If you live in Sun Prairie, please register here first!)  Check out our No Mow May Quick Guide and our Mowing Tip Sheet for details on how to get started.  If you are interested in participating in No Mow May but still have questions after reviewing these documents, please contact our research team by email at pollinators@wisc.edu.


The apple bloom is wrapping up in southern Wisconsin but if you’re further north or closer to the lake you still have some time to do some surveys on apple.  Many spring blooming native and ornamental plants are in bloom right now too.


  • WiBee Field Day hosted by the Daughters of Demeter
    • Friday, May 26th from 2-5pm (rain date Tuesday, May 30th)
    • Allen Centennial Gardens, 620 Babcock Dr., Madison, WI 53706
    • Click here to register!
    • Join Professor Claudio Gratton in the garden to practice using WiBee and ask our research team your questions.
  • Community Science Series with Insect Ambassadors
    • Next event: Caterpillars Count!
    • Friday, May 19th from 1-3pm
    • Lakeshore Nature Preserve (Picnic Point)
    • Click here to register!
    • Come learn about bees, butterflies, dragonflies, and other insects with Insect Ambassadors at the Lakeshore Nature Preserve. Throughout the summer, we will be hosting seven different community science projects. These projects help appreciate, understand, and protect insects!
  • Wisconsin Celebrates Pollinator Week
    • Throughout the month of June
    • Statewide and online events, check the schedule here.
    • UW Extension is dedicated to raising awareness of pollinators through statewide and local activities and events to support National Pollinator Week (June 19-25). By increasing knowledge and adopting pollinator friendly practices, we can improve pollinator health and habitats.  National Pollinator Week is an annual event managed by the Pollinator Partnership to help spread the word about what we can do to protect pollinators.

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