Building a Roadmap for Pollinator Conservation in a Changing World

Colorado Pollinator Network was established in 2016 with a mission to bring organizations together to work collaboratively to conserve, protect and create pollinator habitat while educating communities across the state of Colorado to protect our pollinators. The Network allows for organizations and individuals throughout Colorado to collaborate to make a positive impact on the health of our state pollinators. This group shares information about the best practices, resources and knowledge to support education initiatives, conservation, restoration and creation of habitat and research on pollinators in the state.

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The 6th Annual Colorado Pollinator Summit will be held on Thursday, November 4th, 2021. This year we are welcoming internationally, nationally and regionally recognized pollinator experts to present and discuss the best way forward in pollinator conservation. As we find ourselves in unprecedented times, we have all learned to adapt to the challenges these times bring, and so too must we adapt to the challenges of pollinator conservation. Through this summit, a broad audience will come together from researchers, educators, land managers and policy experts to community organizers, homeowners and landowners to 1) explore the state of pollinator conservation in Colorado; 2) identify impediments to conservation action across disciplines; and 3) identify strategies to overcome the challenges of pollinator conservation here in Colorado and beyond. This year we are adopting an online format for everyone’s convenience and safety. We hope you’ll join us!

2021 Virtual Pollinator Summit

Promoting Pollinators through Collaborative Conservation

Thursday, November 4, 2021

8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Cost: $30 general admission, $15 for students

Register for the 2020 Virtual Summit

2020 Summit Program

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Olivia Carril, Southern Illinois University in Carbondale

Dr. Olivia Carril has been studying native bees for over 25 years. She received her BS in biology from Utah State University, while conducting a survey of the bees of Pinnacles National Monument in California.  Her MSc is also from Utah State University, and involved a study of the bee fauna of the 2 million acre Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.  For her PhD at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, she focused on the evolution of host choice and specialization for one bee group called Diadasia, that visits globe mallow or cactus flowers. She is the coauthor of two books: The Bees in Your Backyard, a Field Guide to North America’s Bees, and The Common Bees of Eastern North America. She is currently working on a field guide to common western bees, as well as conducting several large scale surveys of bees in northern New Mexico.   In her spare time, she teaches middle school science to girls.  She lives in Santa Fe New Mexico, with her husband and two daughters, all of whom are excellent field assistants.

The art and science of monitoring tiny bees on enormous landscapes.

Evidence suggests that native bee species may be experiencing population declines in ecosystems around North America.  To better evaluate which species are most imperiled, and the extent of their decline, it is important to monitor bee populations over the long term in areas where change is most likely.  Easier said than done.  Bees are small fickle creatures that defy easy quantification.  Many of them fly so fast that they are hard to capture with a net, while others ignore passive sampling methods designed to get around netting issues.  Some species ‘wait’ in the ground for a good flower year, meaning that many years of data are necessary to truly understand resident population sizes.  And others leave their natal nesting area if conditions aren’t satisfactory when they emerge.  Moreover, populations naturally fluctuate from year to year, meaning that large sample sizes are necessary to detect the ‘signal’ in all the noise.  As a result, sampling them in a meaningful way requires taking into account the difficulties of collecting a representative sample and the cost of repeated sampling.  Nonetheless, with patience, creativity, and persistence, bee monitoring has been successfully carried out in a number of landscapes throughout the western United States with inspiring results.  Dr. Olivia Carril will describe her own successes and failures in documenting bee populations over the last 25 years, present some of her findings, and share her ideas and methods for successfully documenting bee populations moving forward.