Bee Enthusiasts Swarm Webster’s Campus for the Shutterbee Symposium

A presentation at the Shutterbee SymposiumSeveral dozen nature enthusiasts gathered on Webster University's Webster Groves Campus on Nov. 12 to meet other ecologically minded people in the region and listen to 12 presentations ranging in topics from the American Goldfinch to native gardening.

The symposium is part of the Shutterbee project, which was co-founded by Webster University Biology Professor Nicole Miller-Struttmann in 2020. Shutterbee volunteers photograph bees found throughout the region and submit those photos into a database, where the bees are then catalogued by several biology professors and researchers in the region. 

“This was a great event and we held it to celebrate another successful year for Shutterbee,” Miller-Struttmann said. “Since starting this project, our volunteers have documented nearly 39,000 individual bees in the region, helping biologists and ecologists get an up-close look at the health of the biodiversity in St. Louis.”

The Symposium, which was held in Browning Hall, started with a coffee social and then opening remarks by Miller-Struttmann and St. Louis University PhD candidate Nina Fogel. That was followed with “lightning talks” by undergraduate researchers and nature enthusiasts in the region, including three current and former Webster students.

The topics presented were:

  • “A Charm of Goldfinches: American Goldfinches at Litzsinger Road Ecology Center;”
  • “Community Orchard Pollination: From Visit to Your Table;”
  • “Re-Discovering My Native Garden;”
  • “What Influences Shutterbee Gardeners’ Decisions?;”
  • “Mulch Better Soil--for the Bees!;”
  • “Whimsical Words Whoopsies;”
  • “Rabbit-Resistant Native Gardening;”
  • “Making Yards More Friendly for Shiny Green and Armored Bees;”
  • “Picturing Bees in Community: Shutterbee as a Contributor to Pollinator Paradise Engagement;”
  • “My LOVE of Macro Photography;”
  • “Bees and Pollen Thieves: How Do They Behave?;”
  • and “The Hibiscus Turret Bee (Ptilothrix bombiformis).”

With the return of cold weather, bees have entered their hibernation phase, so the project is on its annual break until early next year, Miller-Struttmann said. Anyone who wishes to join the project can email for more information.

Related News