In 2007, the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation and the Greenbelt Native Plant Center began the Great Pollinator Project (GPP) in collaboration with the Great Sunflower Project in San Francisco. The goals of the GPP were to:
- to increase understanding of bee diversity in New York City and the region;
- to raise public awareness of native bees; and
- to improve park management and home gardening practices to benefit native bees.
The initial goal of the GPP was to identify which areas of New York City have good pollinator service by determining how quickly bees show up to pollinate flowers at various locations. During the summers of 2007 through 2010, volunteer Bee Watchers observed the bees visiting selected flowering plant species such as coneflower, mountain mint, and rough-leaved goldenrod. Observed bees were “assigned” to one of five categories: honey bee, bumble bee, large carpenter bee, shiny green bee, and other type of bee. Over those four summers, the Bee Watchers submitted almost 1,500 observations from all five boroughs of the City. These data are currently being analyzed, so check back for updates on findings.