Dear Bee Enthusiast,
Greetings from the Beescape Team!
We are writing to inform you about the “Beescape” bee management and conservation platform. You can access Beescape by visiting Beescape.org. If you visit Beescape.org and click “Get Started”, you’ll be met with an interactive map that allows you to “get a bee’s eye view of your landscape”.
In the Beescape interactive map, you can enter your address or click on your location to obtain metrics on local landscape quality for bees. You can get these metrics at either the 3 km or 5 km radius scales (this can be edited with the “Foraging Range” menu). These metrics include:
1) Floral Resources in Spring (“Spr. Floral”), Summer (“Sum. Floral”), and Fall (“Fall Floral”) 2) Predicted Insecticide use and toxicity levels in the surrounding landscape (“Insecticide”) 3) Nesting resources for wild bees (“Nesting”)
These intuitive indices can help inform you about the landscape — higher values of “Nesting”, “Spr. Floral”, “Sum. Floral”, and “Fall Floral” mean BETTER resources for bees. Likewise, higher “Insecticide” values mean GREATER exposure to insecticides for bees which, as you might expect, are understood to be WORSE for bees.
You can select which sites are the best for your honey bees, or see how your current site stacks up for supporting honey bees and wild bees. Beescape was first released in spring 2019, and our interactive map is now available for Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, New York, West Virginia, Michigan, and Wisconsin!
We also invite users of Beescape to provide us with information about how their bees are doing by completing a fall and spring survey so we can assess winter survival. Based on our analysis of winter survival data provided by the Pennsylvania Beekeeper Association Survey, Varroa management and weather are the main factors influencing winter survival. With your help, we hope to refine these models so we can add tools on Beescape to predict winter survival in your specific location. Please consider registering with Beescape and contributing to the Beescape team!
We send monthly newsletters that showcase analyses done with Beescape data, new studies, changes to the Beescape site, beekeeping tips, and many more tidbits! If you sign up for an account with Beescape, you will automatically be enrolled in our monthly newsletter but you can easily opt out if you’d prefer to not hear from us once per month! We are also on Twitter if you just can’t get enough of Beescape (@beescapepsu)!
As always, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns!
The Beescape Team
Beescape is a partnership of the Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State University, Dickinson College, Purdue University, University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign, University of Minnesota, and University of California – Davis. It is made possible by funding from USDA-NIFA-AFRI (#2018-6701327538), the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (#549032) and the National SocioEnvironmental Synthesis Center (NSF DBI 16391 45).