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Photo by Ansel Oommen

Pollinator Monitoring

Monitor Pollinator Phenology

Help collect data for scientists and other researchers!

Become an observer with the National Phenology Network

Pollinator Monitoring Tips

  • Build a pollinator garden.

    • Choose plants that provide food (nectar and pollen) for the pollinator species you want to monitor.

    • Choose plants that are larval host plants or create appropriate nesting habitat for the pollinators you want to monitor.

    • For more detailed information, see Building and Restoring Habitat for Pollinators.

  • Mow with plant and pollinator phenology in mind to promote habitat and floral resources.

    • Mow once a year in mid-late April. This is late enough that most solitary bees have emerged from the hollow stems they nested in over winter but early enough that ground nesting birds have not laid their eggs in the tall grass yet. (Note this timing is generally good for the NYPP region. Mowing recommendations may vary in other areas.)

    • Mow paths around your fields where you need to walk and leave the grasses and wildflowers for the rest of the season. This mowing regime will keep shrubs from taking over but allow your field/lawn to provide more resources for pollinators.


Pollinators to watch

We encourage others to monitor pollinators, in particular the four listed here, which are the most commonly observed by member organizations of the New York Phenology Project (a Community Greenways Collaborative initiative): 

  • Apis mellifera – honey bee

  • Bombus spp. – bumblebee

  • Danaus plexippus – monarch butterfly

  • Speyeria cybele – great spangeled fritillary

Additional species monitored by NYPP sites:

  • Anax junius – common green darner

  • Celastrina ladon complex – spring azure

  • Malacosoma americanum – eastern tent caterpillar

  • Nymphalis antiopa – mourning cloak

  • Papilio canadensis – Canadian tiger swallowtail

  • Pieris rapae – cabbage white

  • Pyrrharctia isabella – woolly bear

  • Vanessa atalanta – red admiral

  • Xylocopa virginica – eastern carpenter bee

View the complete list of pollinators and other insects monitored by National Phenology Project sites across the U.S.

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