It will definitely be a good time.
The Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation (GPRF) is hosting a Bumblebee Workshop for all ages on June 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in partnership with Wildlife Preservation Canada, Alberta Parks and TD Friends of the Environment.
“Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park protects 2,300 acres of native grassland and we are truly fortunate to have one of the most incredible and unspoiled expanses of grassland,” said GPRF Executive Director Sarah Parker. “We have a ton of wildflowers, which pollinators love, so we have a number of bumblebee species in our park.”
The Saturday workshop will be led by Tiffany Harrison with bumblebee watchwho will teach workshop participants about native bumblebees and their way of life, according to Parker.
Harrison will also teach the workshop how to use the Bumblebee Watch app to help them identify and document bees. The app keeps track of bees that are reported by volunteers across North America. Those who join the workshop will become volunteers by providing bee sightings in the app.
“It’s driven by you, when you have time to make observations and it can be done at any time,” Parked explained.
“What people will do is go out at their own pace, take photos of bumblebees and upload them to the Bumblebee Watch app. Identifications will be confirmed by Wildlife Preservation Canada.
Giving the volunteers hands-on experience, Harrison will lead the group through the provincial park and find bees for participants to identify.
Those attending the workshop should dress appropriately for light hiking, Parker suggested.
“[Harrison will] talk about some of the different species we have at Glenbow that have been identified and then [the workshop] will be able to go out and learn the convenient way to upload photos to the Bumblebee Watch app and [she will] teach them how the app works,” Parker said.
Collecting bumblebee data using the app can help organizations like Wildlife Preservation Canada and Alberta Parks understand and track bee patterns, according to Parker.
For example, knowing if a particular species of bee is in decline in a specific area can help environmental associations determine appropriate rangeland management for that area and strategies to better protect bee species.
“It can even help at the federal level, with environmental policy,” Parker added. “More information is always helpful when we look at our ecosystems and how to protect them.”
To register for the free workshop, those interested can email [email protected] Lunch will be provided and the workshop can accommodate 40 participants, so it is recommended to email GPRF to reserve a place.