Pollinator Detectives

This is a photo of a black white and orange butterfly on a pink flower

Photo Credit: Queen City Pollinator Project

This is an image of a bee on top of a violet flower

Calling all Pollinator Detectives!

The University of Cincinnati needs your help to collect information on which plants in our region pollinators are visiting! When you are outside walking or playing, pay attention to where you observe pollinators - what is a plant that attracts pollinators? Take a picture of the plant and observe what pollinators visit it over a few days and share your findings on our Pollinator Detectives project hosted on the Project Noah website! This will help everyone in our area discover which plants are best to attract pollinators.

Project Noah is an award-winning social media site for lots of projects that enable community members and professional scientists to create and share nature journals, collect important ecological data, contribute to global research, and help preserve biodiversity.

When you share your nature spotting, it’s okay if you don’t know the identification of the plant. Our friends from Queen City Pollinator Project and community members are excited and willing to help you identify your discovery! This activity is designed for families or classes of elementary and middle school students and celebrates exploring nature and the learning process. 

Why Become a Pollinator Detective?

Learn about what pollinators are, why they are important, and how to find them from a brief video from our friends at the Queen City Pollinator Project.

Ready to Get Started?

Step 1. Join Our Project

Have your parent/guardian or teacher:

1) Create an account on Project Noah. Upload a creative picture to your profile under Settings.

2) Then join Pollinator Detectives mission.

Note: Project Noah account users must be over 18. To prevent unwanted spam emails, we recommend that you do NOT sign up for email notifications.

Step 2. Find a Plant

Look for a plant that you can research and observe to see whether it would be a good plant to attract pollinators. This can be in your backyard, a community garden, a nearby park, or at your school. If you can’t find a plant, just complete this form to receive a virtual plant to research.

Step 3. Research Your Plant

Use these recommended resources to try to identify and research your plant.

Step 4. Observe and Record Your Findings

Download this observation sheet to record your research and observations.  Every day you observe your plant, go out and take pictures. See if you can even photograph pollinators! 

Step 5. Upload Your Spotting

Have your parent/guardian or teacher upload your spotting. Go to the Project Noah Home Page and click “Upload a new spotting.” Add your plant’s name or check the box for someone to help you identify it.  Upload your photos. Then share what you learned about your plant, and include your recommendation in the Notes area about whether it’s good for attracting pollinators. Make sure to select Pollinator Detectives as the mission.

Step 6. Respond to Others

Have your parent/guardian or teacher check for a response from the Queen City Pollinator Project! Reply to any comments you receive and write a comment to others’ spottings using the following prompt:

"I (agree/disagree) with your recommendation because _____________________."

The Pollinator Detectives project is a collaboration between the University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, Wyoming City Schools, and Queen City Pollinator Project.