University of St. Thomas Twin Cities Pollinator Survey
Thank you for taking part in our survey of pollinator diversity in the Twin Cities! This study began as a class project in partnership with the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO). This survey is one piece of a larger project aimed at identifying how the density of pollinator gardens in a neighborhood affects pollinator abundance and diversity. Secondarily, we are also interested in how proximity to honeybee hives affects the abundance of native bees. We are not affiliated with the University of Minnesota Bee Lab, but we have discussed our project design with the Bee Lab's native bee expert Dr. Dan Cariveau, and we will share our results with these researchers and MWMO as well as through the Wild Ones network.

We ask that you complete three pollinator surveys in your garden over the course of the summer. Each survey should take approximately 30 minutes. Surveys should be conducted between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM, on sunny days where the temperature is above 65 degrees F and winds are calm. The protocol requires participants to survey pollinators along a transect (a path through your garden, or perhaps the perimeter), observing pollinators on flowers within 3 feet on either side of the transect, and moving along the transect at approximately 10 feet per minute (so the length of your transect will determine the length of your survey; for example, a 100 foot transect would require 10 minutes of observation). We ask that you record bee morpho-groups (see below for identification details) and other non-bee pollinators (butterflies), and the flowers with which these observations were associated with. Record your data using the native bee monitoring data sheet (available at and then enter it into this electronic form.

Before you begin:

First, please read through the Upper Midwest Citizen Science Monitoring Guide to Native Bees ( This is an invaluable resource that fully describes the sampling protocol and provides excellent resources for identifying different groups of bees. Allow 30 minutes to an hour to read this document.

Second, familiarize yourself with bee identification in your garden using the Guide to Different Groups of Bees (Section 4 of the Upper Midwest Citizen Science Monitoring Guide to Native Bees). The most important distinction is between honeybees and native bees, but any additional taxonomic identification that you are able to provide will be beneficial to our project. Once you are reasonably comfortable with identification, you may proceed with the survey.

Thank you again for your assistance, and please feel free to contact us with any question, comments, or concerns.


Brittany Allen, Environmental Science student, University of St. Thomas (e-mail:

Dr. Chip Small, Biology Assistant Professor, University of St. Thomas (e-mail:; telephone 651-962-5166)

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