What is The WiBee App?
WiBee (pronounced Wee-bee) is a new smartphone app developed by the Gratton Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We invite growers and interested community members to use the app during the growing season to collect high quality data on wild bee abundance and diversity on Wisconsin’s fruit and vegetable farms, as well as non-crop habitats.
With your help, we can provide growers with better pollination management recommendations specific to individual farms and share more information about the diversity, abundance and value of Wisconsin’s wild bees.
Whether you are a gardener, grower, student, or just interested in bees, you can contribute to WiBee.
Cucurbits are still blooming, and late season flowers as blooming soon too!September 6, 2022
Cucurbits are still blooming, and late season flowers as blooming soon too!August 8, 2022
Squash, cucumbers, melons and other cucurbits are now flowering (or will be soon!).August 8, 2022
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Get involved in wild bee research and conservation
One question on the minds of many fruit and vegetable growers is: On my farm, are wild bees able to provide my full crop pollination needs in lieu of managed honey bees?
Wild bees, such as bumble, mason and squash bees, are important pollinators of our food crops. There are over 400 species of wild bees in Wisconsin alone, actively pollinating crops and wildflowers from spring to fall. Many crops are dependent on animal pollination, including apples, berries, melons, squash, and cucumbers. However, we don’t know enough about the abundance and distribution of wild bees to recommend, for an individual farm, whether wild bees alone can provide a crop’s full pollination needs.
We designed the WiBee app to be simple and easy-to-use so that with just a little preparation, growers and citizen scientists can partner with us to observe wild bees. In the app, users complete a series of 5 minute bee observation surveys on a 3 foot by 3 foot area of a blooming crop, recording the number of flower visits they observe.
We welcome collaborations with local fruit and vegetable growers who want to work with us to make WiBee a better and more useful tool for them to monitor their local pollinator populations. Please email us at email@example.com if you are interested.