AUGUSTA — Maine officials are looking for volunteers to help with the Maine Bumblebee Atlas project to document bee range and abundance.

A spokesman for the state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says the project is especially important because of significant declines in some species since the 1990s. Four species native to Maine have fallen from very common to rarely seen. State environmental officials say factors that may be contributing to declines include habitat loss, pesticides and parasites introduced through use of commercially raised bees.

Maine’s bee project begins in mid-May and is being coordinated by the state and the University of Maine at Orono and Farmington. The first training workshop about is slated for May 16 in Orono. Participants do not need experience with bees.

Learn more about the Maine Bumblebee Atlas project.