Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Great Sunflower Project for Bees

As a barefoot girl growing up in Ohio in the 1960s, I had more than my fair shares of painful encounters with bees. In a Pavlovian way, I saw the stimulus (BEE) and had a definite response (FLEE).

So why now, am I searching for bee friendly flowers and plants which will actually encourage bees to come to my garden? Well, with shoes on my feet, I know that bees are an important partner in my garden playing the role of chief pollinator. As they search for pollen for the needs of their bee society, they effectively and efficiently pollinate crops and plants providing food for man and beast. Bees are the primary pollinators of seed and fruit. True, my little plot of land is small but can be a friendly oasis to bees and other pollinators since I eschew pesticides and try to maintain an organic garden.

With this in mind, I'm ready to participate in the Great Sunflower Project. Run by San Francisco State University Associate Professor Gretchen LeBuhn, this project is requesting citizen scientists coast-to-coast participate in a bee pollination study. With the recent focus on colony collapse disorder, this data will provide the scientists with data needed to help restore bees.

As a volunteer “citizen scientist,” in this project, you participate by

1. Sign up and plant your sunflower (seeds provided when you register)
2. Describe your garden
3. Time how long it takes 5 bees to visit your sunflower plant
4. Enter your data online or send your form.

We all remember the headlines from last year warning us of the disappearing bees. I’m hoping my participation helps.



Nancy J. Bond said...

A very worthy project that will provide hours of enjoyments as well, I'm sure. :)

earlysnowdrop said...

I agree. Hopefully, other garden bloggers will be inspired to join the effort. The more dense the data which are reported, the more beneficial to the researchers.


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