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Osmia Phenology Project

Please join us in this scientific study to understand the impact of climate change and other factors on nest timing and geographic distribution in the lovely group of native bees known as Osmia (pronounced OZ-mee-uh).

Arilus cristatus
Photograph by Sam Pickering
Arilus cristatus (Linne, 1763)
Wheel bug nails non-native bee



How to participate once you have built your 2 nest structures

  1. Camera

    • Get a camera -- Set time and date -- Make sure that your camera's time and date are accurate. Look at your cell phone to get an accurate time and date.

  2. Document where, when and who

    Before you start your photographs of your nests, you first need to document accurately where you are, the habitat, and who's in your group. Do this by first photographing

    1. your latitude and longitude on a GPS, if one is available
    2. the time and date on a cell phone
    3. the location of the trap
    4. the habitat, facing North, East, South, and lastly, West
    5. (optional) yourself and the people you are with
    6. any road signs, park signs or buildings to pinpoint your position.

  3. A daily record of your Osmia nests

    There are just 2 steps (and one suggestion):

    1. Take a picture of your cell phone showing the date and time
    2. Take a picture of the two nests
    3. Please take the pictures in the above order so that we know which date and time goes with which picture

  4. Upload your photos (after setting up a Discoverlife photo album)

    • Get a photo album and install software -- You will need to do this before you upload images for the first time. Ask for a personal photo album on Discover Life by emailing us (contact provided within the following Mac and PC links) and then install secure upload software on your Mac or PC.
    • Upload images -- Upload your first pictures of your site and then the daily photographs to your album (see existing albums from many photographers - password required).

  5. Counting the number of completed nests

    While you can certainly keep a chart of when each cardboard tube is filled, we have provided a way to do that online that will result in a data file that we can analyze (and that you can download).

  6. Adding your counts of completed tubes to your photographs of nests

    This will be added soon....

  7. Getting your data back from the OPP

    Once your photographs are uploaded and you have added your counts - you have data! You will be able to compare your results to others across the continent. Collectively we can compare data across locations and over time understand general trends and patterns to when and where Osmia occur. Soon we will create a way to download data that can be input into a spreadsheet.


    If you want to participate, need nesting tubes and sleaves, or have questions, please email, Sam Droege, sdroege@usgs.gov .


Updated: 4 March, 2010
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