Do you want to help the bees in your garden and everywhere? Join with gardeners around the country who are planting Lemon Queen sunflowers in the name of research. Choose seeds not treated with the pesticide neonicotinoid which has been linked to honey bee colony collapse disorder. Then, count the bees that are attracted to this beautiful Helianthus annuus. Follow the link below to read more, register and enter your data.
Written by Ali D.
Calling All Gardeners!
It’s time again for The Great Sunflower project! What’s that you say? What’s the Great Sunflower Project? Well, let me tell you and then you can decide if you’d like to participate.
This project is actually a large scale experiment designed to try to detect the effects of neonicotinoids on pollinators using lemon Queen sunflowers It was created by Dr. Gretchen LeBhun, a professor of biology at San Francisco State University.
How do you participate in The Great Sunflower Project? I’m glad you asked! It’s really easy and helps in so many ways! The first step is to go to www.greatsunflower.org. On this website you’ll find a place to register for the program. It also explains how gardeners will be planting Lemon Queen sunflowers and then when blossomed, they will count the number of pollinators that visit the sunflowers a few times each day.
What is a pollinator? That’s a good question! Many things pollinate, but the most common are honey bees, solitary bees (also called native bees), butterflies, moths and hummingbirds. This study will be focusing on our bee friends.
What is a neonicotinoid? Another great question! Neonicotinoids are a relatively new class of insecticide that is chemically related to nicotine and acts on certain receptors in nerve synapses. Toxicity for invertebrates is quite high, yet relatively low for mammals, birds and other similar organisms.
I hope we can enlist as many of you as possible to give our pollinators a hand.
Bee well and happy gardening! Ali D.