The Bumblebee Landscape Project – Summer 2023 & 2024

Interested in volunteering your green space? Fill out our volunteer form below.

What is the Bumblebee Landscape Project?

The Bumblebee Landscape Project is a field project that is a significant part of my PhD dissertation at the University of Missouri St. Louis. The project involves catching and identifying bumblebees in different areas around the St. Louis that have different landscapes, such as urban landscapes, suburban landscapes, and natural landscapes. Bumblebees are incredibly important pollinators for our native plant life and gardens.

Who are we?

Jeremy Howard – Current Ph.D student in Dr. Aimee Dunlap’s lab researching the spatial movements of bumblebees in the St. Louis region. Spearheading the Bumblebee Landscape project.

Dr. Aimee Dunlap – Associate Professor in the department of Biology at UMSL and co-director of the Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center.

What does the project entail?

This project is a genetic mark recapture project. At each site, we will net any bumblebees and record their GPS position. We will also take a small DNA sample from each bee caught. This sample is non-fatal to the bee and will not affect their future foraging. No bees will be removed from the premises and no bees will be killed during the project.

What is the importance of this project?

This project will give us a better idea of the bumblebee species that reside around St. Louis and how the level of urbanization is affecting where they move to obtain food. This information can be used to make areas throughout and around the city more pollinator friendly for our bumblebees.

When is the project running?

This project will run for 2 summers: Summer 2023 and Summer 2024. We will be catching bumblebees from May through September, active from 8 am and 5 pm Monday-Saturday around the city. We will be at 1 green space (backyards, community gardens, parks, church grounds, etc) no more than 1 hour per day for a given day of sampling. Sampling of each green space will occur 4 times throughout the summer.

Where are we sampling for Bumblebees?

We are sampling bumblebees in and around 6 sites in the St Louis region…

  1. Soulard Community Garden
  2. 13th Street Community Garden
  3. UMSL South Campus
  4. Litzsinger Road Ecology Center
  5. Shaw Nature Reserve
  6. Heartland Prairie, IL

How can you help?

We need green spaces to find and catch bumblebees within a 2 km radius of each of our sites (see below). Do you know of backyards, community gardens, parks, schools, or churches that could be volunteered for us to sample bumblebees at in any of the following areas below? Or would you like to volunteer your own garden or yard?

If so, please contact us at or 443-977-9436! We would love to hear from you!

The 2 km radius around Soulard Community Garden.

The 2 km radius around 13th Street Community Garden.

The 2 km radius around UMSL South Campus.

The 2 km radius around Litzsinger Road Ecology Center.

The 2 km radius around Shaw Nature Reserve (Gray Summit, MO).

The 2 km radius around Heartland Prairie, IL.

We look forward to meeting and working with you in our research to learn more about the native bumblebees in our region!

Jeremy Howard