You may have noticed we added a new section to the pre-survey screen in WiBee called “Initiatives”. These buttons are for specific programs we have going on and we wanted to tell you a bit more about what these are all about. When you select that a survey is part of a particular initiative, there may be some follow-up questions presented to you related to that initiative.
The Master Gardener Program is a UW-Madison Extension program that teaches participants about plants and how to take care of them. 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.
If you are completing a survey as part of your Master Gardener volunteer activities, be sure to select it in the initiatives section of the WiBee survey screen.
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 by providing nectar and pollen during the early part of the season when there are fewer other flowers in bloom in the landscape.
This spring, we are teaming up with community scientists like you to do a pilot study to see how No Mow May influences pollinators. Participants are doing WiBee surveys on mowed and unmowed plots in their yard or city parks. If you are interested in participating, please check our No Mow May Quick Guide and our Mowing Tip Sheet. If you are still interested in participating after reviewing these materials, please fill out this short survey and then get started!
The No Mow May initiative should be selected only when doing surveys in your lawn or garden during the month of May.
What is Tomato Blitz? It’s a three week snapshot in time of tomato pollinators throughout Wisconsin using WiBee. Why Tomatoes? Because tomatoes are commonly grown in gardens and farms throughout Wisconsin and are very attractive flowers for pollinators. What can you do? Just spend 15 minutes (3 surveys) by your local tomatoes and count bee visits.