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Jun 01

Montana Bumble Bee Atlas Training Workshop - Missoula, MT

Learn how to contribute to a community science project and play a hands-on role in bumble bee conservation at this workshop.

Gerald W. Marks Exploration Center
1075 South Ave W, Missoula, MT 59801
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Jun 01, 2024 09:00am MT - Jun 01, 2024 01:00pm MT


Intended Audience

Anyone with an interest in bees and a desire to help them in a hands-on way is encouraged to attend—no prior experience needed!


This in-person workshop is free of charge.


Saturday, June 1, 2024, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM MT


Gerald W. Marks Exploration Center, 1075 South Ave. W, Missoula, MT 59801

Registration Contact

Michelle Toshack (she/her), the Xerces Society

(406) 296-6006

[email protected]

About the Xerces Society

The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation is a donor-supported nonprofit organization that protects our world through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats. Xerces works throughout North America to conserve pollinators and other invertebrates, protect endangered species, and reduce pesticide use and impacts. Our staff use applied research, policy advocacy, public education and on-the-ground habitat improvement to advance meaningful, long-term conservation. Xerces is the largest invertebrate conservation organization in the world. For over 50 years, we have been champions of Earth’s most biodiverse and overlooked animals, protecting the life that sustains us. Learn more at

Photo Credits

Banner Photo:

Rich Hatfield, the Xerces Society

Side Photo:

Katharina Ullmann, the Xerces Society

Montana Bumble Bee Atlas Training Workshop

Gerald W. Marks Exploration Center

Missoula, Montana

Saturday, June 1, 2024

9:00 AM – 1:00 PM MT

Please join us in a collaborative effort to track and conserve the bumble bees of Montana through this training.

The workshop is limited to 50 people, so act quickly to reserve your spot!

Training Information

Bumble bees are charismatic and easily recognizable pollinators thanks to their large size, loud buzz, and distinctive color patterns. They play an incredibly important role in sustaining the health of our environment by pollinating flowers in natural and urban areas, and by contributing to successful harvests on farms. Montana is home to at least 28 different bumble bee species, and some species are experiencing population declines. Existing data suggests that many species of bumble bee face an uncertain future, but we often lack the data needed to implement effective conservation measures.

To tackle this gap in knowledge, the Montana Bumble Bee Atlas is a community science effort aimed at gathering the data needed to track and conserve bumble bees. Community scientists spread out across one of our project states to survey for bumble bees and report back with whatever they find! Surveys can be run on your own or with a group of people. Survey methods are also catch-and-release, so no bees are harmed. All you will need to participate in the surveys is an insect net, some vials or jars, a decent camera (including cell phone cameras), internet access for data submission, and a way to get to your survey sites.

With your help, we can quickly cover large regions of the country, collect scientific-quality data, and contribute to bumble bee conservation. This project joins a growing nation-wide network of Bumble Bee Atlas projects managed by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and partner organizations. This workshop will cover everything you need to know to participate in the Montana Bumble Bee Atlas: Atlas protocols, how to complete a survey, and how to submit data. We will also cover bumble bee ecology and conservation. Anyone with an interest in bees and a desire to help them in a hands-on way is encouraged to attend—no prior experience needed!


  • Module 1: Bumble bee biology and project background (classroom)
  • Module 2: How to participate in the Montana Bumble Bee Atlas (classroom)
  • Module 3: How to catch and photograph bumble bees (outdoors)


This training is supported by the US Forest Service and Missoula County Department of Ecology.


Michelle Toshack (she/her), Endangered Species Conservation Biologist, Montana Bumble Bee Atlas, the Xerces Society

Michelle leads the Montana Bumble Bee Atlas to engage community scientists in conserving bumble bees. Michelle obtained a masters in biological sciences from Simon Fraser University, where she researched pollinator biodiversity and the impacts of farming practices on bumble bees. She has led the strategy and implementation of numerous community science programs across North America to advance conservation efforts. Michelle enjoys exploring the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains in many ways, especially ridge-top scrambling, mountain running, and wild ice skating.