This program is intended to be an introductory self-paced course of study, with opportunities for working with mentors in the field. Journey and Master levels - which will involve rigorous advanced study - are still in development at this time.
This program was the first of its kind in the world to train citizen scientists to both collect AND curate specimens for a university-led study. In just a few short years, the program has created one of the largest data sets on native bees and their floral associations in the world, and has led to countless new discoveries for the Pacific Northwest.
We offer a variety of programming for those who wish to join us in going down the rabbit hole exploring the world of native bees.
Advanced taxonomic training
Collection events throughout the Pacific Northwest
Group camping trips
Learning how to curate insect specimens to professional museum standards
$300; subsidies available for students with financial need and underrepresented groups
Students are asked to purchase “The Solitary Bees: Biology, Evolution, Conservation” by Bryan Danforth et. al. 2017, and “The Bees in Your Backyard” by Joseph Wilson and Olivia Messinger Carril 2015. An optional but recommended text is “Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide” by Paul Williams et al 2014.
Complete six self-paced online training modules
Attend a minimum of one field training event covering native bee survey techniques, record keeping, and specimen curation led by certified Master Melittologist instructors, or virtual equivalent
Attend a minimum of one microscope training day, or virtual equivalent
Attend a minimum of one collection day group outing - accommodations available upon request
Killing bees is an unfortunate aspect of the work that we do. All Master Melittologist participants will be required to kill specimens for collection and curation. Bees must be collected in this manner for educational purposes and to gather scientific information.
Ability to travel up to 150 miles one way for the field training course. Students are responsible for transporting themselves to all training events.
Enrollment for the current year is now closed. Please put your name on our contact list for next year - enrollment typically begins in Jan/Feb of each year.
2023 Microscope Trainings
OSU Corvallis: January 21st, September 23rd, October 28th, November 25th, January 27th (2024)
Pendleton, OR: February 28th
Online: September 23rd
2023 Field Trainings
May 13th: British Columbia - Nanaimo
June 16th: Mt. Emily - OR
June 18th: British Columbia - Penticton
June 23rd to 25th: Hells Canyon Camping Trip - OR
July 11th: Bend - OR
July 15th: Mt. Hood Meadows - OR
July 21st to 23rd: South Steens Camping Trip - OR
September 2nd: Big Lake - OR
September 15th to 17th: Cottonwood Canyon Camping Trip - OR
These are determined by individual students and members and will be added to the Calendar as they are submitted
Can I enroll if I live outside Oregon?
There are two considerations for participating in the program if you live outside Oregon.
1. At this time we DO NOT accept specimens from outside Oregon. If you are interested in submitting bees in your state, we can work with you and your state/province to develop an Atlas for your region.
2. VIRTUAL FIELD AND LAB TRAININGS (SUBSTITUTION FOR IN-PERSON TRAINING INTENDED FOR OUT-OF-STATE STUDENTS):We strongly encourage you to take in-person field and microscope trainings (there really is no substitute for working through practical tasks of melittology with a trained instructor!). For individuals unable to attend in-person events, virtual sessions will be offered providing students with alternative instruction. Led by staff members, these events will rely on laboratory and field event checklists to ensure all students minimally review key foundational skills. See the Calendar of Events in Canvas for available dates and times.
Please contact us if you have additional questions.
Maintaining your active status
Once you are certified, your “active” status in the Master Melittologist Program is maintained by submitting a $30 annual participation fee. This fee helps offset recurring website maintenance costs, covers supplies including labels, instructor stipends, and advanced course offerings. Fees will be due beginning March 1st of each year. We will also require you to complete a new volunteer service form annually. If either of these are not completed, your status will not be considered active.