Help Bees – join The Great Sunflower Project!

I just found out about this bee-tracking/data collection project through my recent Wings issue from The Xerces Society (invertebrate advocacy group based in Portland, OR).  Here’s what it’s all about and how you can participate!

The Great Sunflower Project

– from their site:

Many studies have been done on our agricultural bee populations and in recent times the commercial beekeepers have experienced colony collapse. What scientists had not studied on a large scale was how the wild bees were doing and what effect that has on pollination of garden plants, crops and wild plants.

In 2008, we started this project as a way to gather information about our urban, suburban and rural bee populations. We wanted to enlist people all over the US and Canada to observe their bees and be citizen scientists. We asked them to plant sunflowers in their gardens so we could standardize study of bee activity and provide more resources for bees. Sunflowers are relatively easy to grow and are wildly attactive to bees. Since 2008, we have expanded the list of plants studied to include Bee balm, Cosmos, Rosemary, Tickseed, and Purple coneflower.

You can participate by getting annual Lemon Queen sunflower seeds from us, at your local store or through one of these seed sellers.

* It takes less than 15 minutes.
* It’s easy.
* No knowledge of bees required!

Enter your bee counts online or send us your paper form.
We would love to have you join us; let’s help our most important pollinators together! [And] we love having beekeepers participate.

Hope you can help!

Chloro Phil