Patrick Chwalek

Wild bees are essential for food security and biodiversity, but they face rapid decline. One of the main threats is the commercialization of bumble bees, which introduces exotic species that compete and infect native ones. Bumble bees are key pollinators of crops and wildflowers worldwide, but we lack information on their distribution, health, and habitat.

We aim to develop a noninvasive system to monitor wild bee populations and understand their needs. Currently, lethal collection is the standard to study and identify bee species. We propose to use acoustic sensors and cameras to detect bumble bees and capture their color patterns, which are unique for each species. This multi-modal system could enhance conservation monitoring for bumble bees in their natural habitats.