Patsy Bell Hobson is blogging at www.patsybell.com. When not in the garden or on the road, find her in southern Missouri USA. Read more travel stories at Striped Pot. Find more garden, travel and random rants on her Facebook.
Herb gardeners know how important bees are to our gardens. One of every three bites of food we eat come from a plant pollinated by wild pollinators. Unfortunately many pollinators are declining. That's what the Great Sunflower Project wants to change.
The Great Sunflower Project, a project that plans to unravel the mystery of the disappearing pollinators, pulls together data that you help them collect. With this data it will create a database to help understand what is happening to the bee pollinators and how our green spaces are connected. Sunflowers is an easy-to-grow plant that gives height to the herb garden and is wildy attractive to birds and bees.
• Sign up and plant your sunflowers.
• Watch your sunflower for 15 minutes: Write down how long it takes for the first five bees to arrive at your sunflower. After 15 minutes, you can stop. If you haven't seen 5 bees by then, the Great Sunflower Project want to know!
• Enter your data online.
Grow sunflowers to attract bees and finches. Photo by Patsy Bell Hobson
By watching and recording the bees at these sunflowers, you can help with the research the Great Sunflower Project is doing to understand the challenges that bees are facing. Grow annual 'Lemon Queen' sunflowers (Helianthus anus). I got mine from Renee's Garden. 'Lemon Queen' is a lovely branching variety that is particularly attractive to bees. Other herbs that bees are attracted to include basils, borage, catmint, lavender and rosemary.
Win 'Lemon Queen' sunflower seeds and participate in the Great Sunflower Project.
Photo by Rhonda Fleming hayes/Courtesy Flickr
Seed Packet Giveaway
Renee's Garden is giving away three packets of 'Lemon Queen' sunflowers to three lucky blog readers.
HOW TO ENTER
• Post a comment in the comments section below telling us why you grow, or why you want to grow, sunflowers.
• End date: June 1, 2011 (12:00 a.m. Central Time) UPDATE: Time's up!
The winners have been contacted. They were chosen using Random.org. Thanks to everyone who entered my Garden Giveaway! Watch out for even more giveaways.