Measure Me Green is Relaunching!

The Big Bee Bonanza project launched a brand new kind of expedition for Notes from Nature, where we asked for your help to measure bee body size using a novel measurement tool. That first project was called “Measure Me Green” and included images of the widely distributed, green sweat bee (Agapostemon texanus). The response was incredible, and we finished the first measurement expedition in only a few days. Thanks to your help we also learned a lot along the way about how to create measurement expeditions and we learned from you about how we can improve the results of future expeditions like this one.

We looked closely into the measurement data and found that many of the measurements were longer than expected. Figure 1 illustrates this issue, with each line representing a measurement by a different participant. Some measured from the start of the tegula, others from the end or the middle. We think that this had to do with us not being clear enough about exactly where to draw the tegula lines. We plan to do a lot of measurements over the next few years and really want to get this right. We value your time and don’t often ask you to repeat classifications, but in this case, we feel it’s the best course of action to improve how we are doing things going forward.

Figure 1: Based on the variation in measurements, we found that different people are choosing different starting and stopping points on the tegula to draw the lines.

What we learned is that we need to improve our instructions. Since we found that most measurements were longer than expected, we have added new and improved directions for the next expedition. To see the new directions simply click the “Tutorial” tab in the upper right part of the screen. Bee anatomy is complicated, and the instructions are small, so we have updated them to provide clearly defined anatomical detail with new drawings. Figure 2 is an example of one of the new tegula illustrations. Have a look and let us know what you think.

Figure 2: New drawings to help guide participants were to measure the bee

So let us test our new instructions together! We are now relaunching the Measure Me Green expedition as the Measure Me Green Revisited expedition with the new instructions so we can understand if we are providing enough detail to get a closer match between measurements taken in the lab and those provided by Notes from Nature participants. Thank you again for your help! Understanding the variation (and reasons why) between the measurements gives us great confidence in the results and helps us progress the science of bee biology together.

Get involved and give the project a try – your work is helping us improve our measurement tool.

– Katja Seltmann, UC Santa Barbara, Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration

– Alec Buetow, Undergraduate Researcher, UC Santa Barbara, Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration

– Rosie Manner, Undergraduate Researcher, UC Santa Barbara, Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: