Blue Ridge Bumble Bee Megatransect
Survey Protocol for Blue Ridge Bumble Bees Megatransect
Updated on June 12, 2015
Quick Summary: On nice days in July stop every 2 miles along Roadway and collect Bumble bees for 10 minutes.
Necessary Equipment: Net | Clipboard | Data Sheet | Collecting Tube or Jar | Watch or Stopwatch or CHARGED Cell Phone with Countdown Timer APP | Permit | Dashboard Sign | 3 Pencils | Whirlpaks or centrifuge tubes | Spoon | Gloves | Labels (write in pencil only) | container with soapy water (dish detergent) and lid (to keep from spilling in the car)
Survey Time Window: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Survey Date Window: All of July, ideally sunny weather with minimal wind
Inappropriate Weather: Extreme Wind | Rain
Where to Stop: Stops are at ODD numbered mile markers. Primarily use your car odometer to locate stopping points as sometimes the actual mile markers are difficult to locate and in some places they may not be there. Use the mile markers to recalibrate your odometer as you pass them. After you hit your mileage point look for the next nearest location you can safely pull out on either side of the road.
Time for an Individual Count: 10 minutes | Count starts WHEN YOU LEAVE THE CAR and have your net ready
Collecting: Walk DO NOT RUN to the nearest location having Bumble Bees or looks like it could have Bumble Bees | Stop collecting after 10 minutes even if you see more Bumble Bees
Net Handling: Move net to about 2 feet from bee before swinging QUICKLY| Do not worry about damaging flowers with you swing| Center your swing on the Bumble Bee | After capture, snap bees down to end of net and grab net ABOVE bees with gloved hand | Do not remove Bumble Bees during 10 minute Count Period
Removing Specimens: Put net end with bees into container with dish soap and put lid on so it won’t spill, drive to the next stop or wait 5 minutes for the bees to become sluggish, then transfer to whirlpak or centrifuge tube with alcohol and label into whirlpak (can use a spoon to help).
Record on Form: Time | Stop Number | Abundance of Flowers | Presence / Absence of Bumblebees | GPS your location if you have GPS otherwise describe the stop location| Note any issues | picture number if you have a camera (optional, take one picture of the area where you collected the bees).