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University of Minnesota Extension

Minnesota Bee Atlas

What is the Minnesota Bee Atlas?

bee with light grey hair on a red flower
Long-horned bee, native to Minnesota, on a flower in Minneapolis.

The Minnesota Bee Atlas is a research project that relies on volunteers to learn more about the distribution and diversity of native bees in Minnesota. 

Volunteer observations, combined with historical records from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the University of Minnesota insect collection, provide important information on which bees live here and where they can be found. 

Volunteers have documented over 25,000 bees in Minnesota. They submit photos of bees to iNaturalist, adopt roadside survey routes to capture, identify and release bumble bees, and monitor nesting blocks for stem-nesting bees.

Data from the Bee Atlas is available as a part of the Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas.

Get involved

Black and yellow bee on purple flower

The current work of the Bee Atlas uses DNA analysis to identify the plants used by leaf-cutter and resin bees to construct their nests. Volunteers are needed to host and observe stem nests from April to October.

You still can share your photos of bees on iNaturalist. You don’t have to be a bee expert. Just upload your photo with an accurate date and location and other users will help you identify what you have seen.



Sign up to be notified of this and other volunteer opportunities with native bees.

Sign up

Funding for this project is provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).

Page survey

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