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Queen Quest

Main Project Information
Presented By UNL's Bumble Boosters
Goal Monitoring first emergences of spring bumble bee queens
Task Photograph first sightings of bumble bee queens each spring
Where Global, anywhere on the planet

Queen Quest is a bumble bee queen phenology project. It is a joint effort between UNL’s Bumble Boosters team, University of Minnesota’s Bee Squad, and citizen scientists to track first instances of bumble bee queen sightings in the spring. Little is known about the long-term and cyclical effects of climate on bumble bee populations. A key project objective is to determine the relationship and long-term impacts of climate on bumble bees.

The scientific objectives of the Queen Quest program are to:
1) Determine the phenology of spring bumble bee queen emergence.
2) Determine which flowers bumble bee queens visit in the early spring.
3) Determine long-term climate impacts on bumble bee populations and distribution in North America.

How to Join

To Participate

1. Join iNaturalist at If you don't already have one, create an iNaturalist account with a username and password. Be sure to JOIN the QUEEN QUEST PROJECT page at
2. Start your quest for queens! To learn about finding and identifying queens, visit our project primer at Photograph your queen. Take several photos and feel free to share more than one! This will help us attempt to identify your bumble bee species. Observe what your queen is doing. Once you have spotted and photographed a queen, determine what activity you are observing, including flower visitation, nest building, and nest provisioning. Record your observations in your iNaturalist record. Learn what to observe and report in our project primer below.
3. Register with Queen Quest at to receive project updates and exciting Bumble Boosters news.

Social Media
Special Skills Ability to photograph bumble bee queens with a smart phone or camera.
Ideal Age Group Elementary school (6 - 10 years), Middle school (11 - 13 years), High school (14 - 17 years), College, Graduate students, Adults, Families
Ideal Frequency Every few days
Average Time Less than an hour
Spend the Time outdoors
Type of Activity On a walk, run, On a hike
Tags bumble bee, climate, phenology, queen quest
Project Updated 05/23/2018