What is The WiBee App?
WiBee (pronounced We-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.
June 19th-25th Wisconsin is celebrating Pollinator Week! Managed by Pollinator Partnership, this week is a national opportunity for us to learn about and protect the wonderful insects and other animals that pollinate our crops and …June 20, 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 …May 18, 2023
Welcome to the 2023 season of WiBee! Welcome! Thank you for being a part of our community. Your surveys provide valuable information to help us better understand pollinator activity across Wisconsin. We’d also like to send …April 17, 2023
Cucurbits are still blooming, and late season flowers as blooming soon too!September 6, 2022
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Explore the data
You may have noticed we added a new section to the pre-survey screen in WiBee called “Initiatives”. Selecting that the survey you are about to do is a part of an initiative helps us group these surveys for analysis, and may prompt some follow-up questions on the survey screen to get more information relevant to that initiative. Currently we have set up a few initiatives, including Master Gardener volunteer credits, and No Mow May. Learn more about each initiative with the link below.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.