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Black Hills Bee Project

Main Project Information
Where United States

Volunteers with the Black Hills Bee Project monitor and collect bees, record flower visitations, and provide insights on the activities of bees in the Black Hills ecoregion. The project depends upon a volunteer effort to provide essential data, specimens, records, and observations of these native bees.

Volunteers can also contribute photographs of bees from their gardens or elsewhere in the Black Hills. The project will post these photos and identify volunteers as the photographer.

There are four primary benefits of participating:

1. Volunteer bee and information contributions will be fully recognized on the project Web page and in any scientific publications.

2. Specimens with names of their collector will be permanently retained in the Severin‐McDaniel insect Research Collection at South Dakota State University, with duplicate specimens going to the US Department of Agriculture Bee Lab.

3. Bees and information provided will contribute to an understanding of the bee diversity of the Black Hills region.

4. The survey of the home and garden bees will allow a determination of which native species can survive in developed areas and be important garden pollinators.

How to Join

For more information on how to participate, contact Principal Investigator, Dr. Paul J. Johnson (, or David Drons (

Required Gear

The project will provide a "sampling kit" to each volunteer. This kit is comprised of a collecting bottle to kill the bees, sample tubes for keeping and transferring the bees, instructions, and note cards for recording essential information about the bees and collecting site. The collecting bottles will be pre-charged to kill the bees; alternatively, the bees can be frozen or pickled in alcohol.

Ideal Age Group Middle school (11 - 13 years), High school (14 - 17 years), College, Graduate students, Adults
Spend the Time outdoors
Type of Activity While fishing, On a hike, In the car, At the beach, On a walk, run, At school, At a science center, zoo or aquarium, At night, At sports stadiums
Tags bee, bees, native bees
Project Updated 04/21/2017