About SWMBees

Female bombus griseocollis pollinating white campion

What is SWMBees?

Southwest Michigan Bees is a community science program from Kalamazoo College collecting data on bumble bee species abundance and diversity. Community science means that all community members are welcome to submit photos. We need the help of volunteers to help cover more ground. Volunteering is a great way to commit to the betterment of our local ecosystem while enjoying all it has to offer.

Why bumble bees?

Bumble bees are important because of their role as pollinators in our ecosystem. Unfortunately, their population numbers are declining across the nation, state, and region for a variety of reasons including climate change, habitat loss, pesticides, etc. Data from this project will develop an understanding of what types of bumble bees are in our area and where they are concentrated.

In what areas is SWMBees focusing?

SWMBees will focus on collecting data from the nine counties of Southwest Michigan: Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, and Van Buren. Special interest for a current project is given to the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy nature preserves in these counties and the Kalamazoo College Lillian Anderson Arboretum.