Northeast Pollinator Partnership

Understanding the Value of Wild Bees

Client: Bryan Danforth, Cornell University


The Northeast Pollinator Partnership is a research project designed to gather and analyze data on the temporal and geographic patterns of apple bloom and the abundance of wild and managed bees at orchards across the Northeast. It was developed by Cornell University entomologist Bryan Danforth, who hopes this examination of native bee pollination will help with maintaining healthy ecosystems.

AWP created a roadmap that helped me see an organized big-picture view of my project and a plan for success. I am very pleased to have them as a strategic partner.

Bryan Danforth

Cornell University Department of Entomology

Bryan turned to AWP in the initial stages of the project to help with securing the grant that would be used to develop the materials and tools needed to move forward with the research. Our first objective was to prove community supporters and apple growers’ interest in participation to funders. To achieve this goal, AWP created a comprehensive action map to guide communications with stakeholders at each step throughout the process.

We developed print materials, email campaigns and a targeted website to share project objectives and gather support for the project. We produced videos to explain the project and to demonstrate community support for NEPP. The success of this plan helped Bryan secure two years worth of funding for data collection.

AWP Creative Director Christopher DelCollo films interviews with apple growers who support the NEPP project.

With funding secured, Bryan partnered with AWP to engage apple growers in the data collection process. Together we implemented a social media strategy to generate awareness about the important role that native bees play in a healthy ecosystem. We repurposed the campaign website to recruit apple growers to participate in data collection. Finally, we developed a data collection app to allow orchard owners to easily collect bee count data on their phones while out in the orchard during peak bloom times.

Orchard owners can quickly count bees and submit their results from anywhere using the app AWP developed.

To ensure consistent data collection, AWP produced video instructions for the app and a bee guide and quiz to help participants identify and distinguish native bees from honey bees.

Through outreach activities and data collection over multiple years, the Northeast Pollinator Project forged a connection between scientists and apple growers to create a deeper understanding of the biodiversity, abundance, and value of wild bees.