Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Great Sunflower Project

I know lots of you have already planted sunflowers for your gardens - why not take a bit of time to track the bees visiting your flowers? I can think of worse ways to spend some lazy summer time....

The Great Sunflower Project (thanks, Culinate, for the tip!) aims to track bees in order to help preserve them, first by capturing bee behavior and then by quantifying its economic benefit (their tagline is "Bees: Responsible for Every Third Bite of Food"):

By finding a way to track and value the goods and services provided by natural ecosystems, we will find a future in which conservation is mainstream, economically attractive and commonplace throughout the world. The data you collect from your sunflower will be a start. It will provide an insight into how our green spaces in the urban, suburban and rural landscapes are connected as well as shedding light on how to help pollinators. What we need are innovative strategies to maximize the benefits of our wild and semi-wild habitat remnants. The Great Sunflower Project is the first step.
With honeybee colonies collapsing and bumblebee populations declining, it might behoove us all to pay attention to their wild cousins to figure out what's happening to our winged pollinator friends. I just signed up and hope you will too!

*Photo courtesy of Ginny Stibolt at the Great Sunflower Project.


katydidnot said...

nothing better than one single sunflower in a blue vase by my front door.

Nora Bee said...

We planted sunflowers this year. If any survive my toddler and make it to flower this is a great idea. (And I would know, I'm a bee) :-)

Stacy (mama-om) said...

We're going to give this a try -- we signed up over a month ago and are waiting for our seeds.

Thanks for the tip on the saline pool. Sounds fab, doesn't it?

And thank you for coming by my blog -- I'm glad to have found yours!

Trace & Terri said...

Sunflowers and bees: what a great combination. Here in California we are trying to reestablish bee colonies because so many commercial growers are reporting bee losses. Check out my blog: It's all about gardening!( and saving the bees)

Gruppie Girl said...

I bought the sunflower seeds. Planting them just hasn't happened yet.

You have inspired me. The kids and I will make it our goal to plant the sunflowers tomorrow.