Get a bee's eye view of your landscape
Beescape is a web-based tool developed by Penn State University to help beekeepers, gardeners, urban planners, growers, researchers, and land managers assess the quality of their landscapes for supporting bees and other pollinators. Bees can fly up to 3 miles (5 kilometers) from their nest to find food, and Beescape provides an easy way for you to explore the landscapes surrounding your location.
Watch our instructional video on Youtube:
How to Use Beescape
After launching Beescape, select your location by entering your address or by manually navigating to your location using the web interface.
You can select an area of interest in two ways:
1. Use the point icon. You can then move the range on the sliding scale bar, and drop the point in the middle of your area. Beescape will then draw the range chosen around the center point. If you select 2 miles, Beescape will draw a circle with a radius of 2 miles around your point.
2. Use the polygon icon. Select the polygon icon and draw the area of interest on the map.
Habitat Quality Factors
Beescape will provide the landscape quality scores for wild bee nesting habitat availability, levels of insecticide exposure, and seasonal (spring, summer, fall) forage quality. If you hold your cursor over the individual quality score bar, you can see the exact score.
These scores are compared to the average scores found in the north central United States, so you can determine if your landscape is low, medium, or high quality compared to the average for this region.
Economic Value of Pollinators
Beescape calculates the amount of economic value pollinators provide to agricultural crops in your selected area. Some crops, like fruits, depend heavily on insect pollinators. Other crops, such as corn, are wind-pollinated. In areas with more pollinator dependent crops, the economic value provided by pollinators will be higher.
Beescape will summarize the land use types in your selected area. If you hold your your cursor over the smaller land use types, the name of the land use category will be provided.
Beescape will also provide the monthly average temperature and total monthly precipitation for the current year, compared to the 10-year average for your selected area.
If you see flower or butterfly icons in your area, these represent records in iNaturalist of flowering plants or pollinators (bees, butterflies, flies, etc) that have been observed in the last 31 days. Click these to learn what has been observed, and follow the link to iNaturalist to get more information. You can sign up for iNaturalist to add your own observations.
On the lower left corner of the map, there is a button you can use to change the background map features to show the roads or satellite view.