Wisconsin’s Wild Bee app developers hope to double app usage this year

EAU CLAIRE, Wisconsin (WEAU) – Bees, farms and gardens could benefit from an app developed at the University of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Wild Bee – WiBee – app is designed to use cell phones to help people track the bees they see. It was started last year by a research team from the Department of Entomology at UW-Madison. The project began with apple growers in the state wondering if they could depend on wild bees to pollinate their crops, or if they should import honey bees into their properties. The WiBee app collects data on bee visits through user surveys that each take about five minutes to complete. Entomologists can make recommendations for an area based on the data collected. Wisconsin has over 400 species of native and wild bees, which are supplemented by European honey bees. One hundred and sixteen users collected data from 891 surveys in 2021, and the developers of the app hope that number will double this year.

US Department of Agriculture Uses $ 300 Million in American Rescue Plan Act Funding to Monitor SARS-CoV-2 and Other Emerging Diseases in Susceptible Animals to Establish Early Warning System to alert public health officials of potential transmissions. The project is designed to prevent or limit the next global pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19 and other diseases that could pose a threat to humans and animals.

Leaders of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation have announced that the organization’s 102nd annual meeting and conferences will be held December 3-6 at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. This annual conference brings together state farmers, agribusiness professionals and supporters to discuss issues affecting agriculture; it also sets the organization’s legislative and policy priorities for the year.

Fair season continues in Wisconsin, with the Central Wisconsin State Fair opening in Marshfield yesterday and the Price County Fair in Phillips opening today. The Burnett County Fair in Grantsburg opens tomorrow. All these fairs take place until Sunday. The Minnesota State Fair – known as The Great Minnesota Get-Together – also opens tomorrow and runs through September 6.

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