I received the May/June 2009 Hobby Farm Home magazine yesterday…and by last night it looked like it was read by 20 people in a doctors office. 🙂 Just love that magazine!
On page 38 in Garden Grit by Susan M. Brackney there is a tidbit on
GREAT SUNFLOWER PROJECT ~
Sunflower from my front yard, Sparks NV, 2008 ~ these wee ones were sleeping in the flower. 🙂
You’ve probably heard that our Honey bees, bumblebees and other natural pollinators are dying back, but thanks to the Great Sunflower Project, we can all help these insects – and the researchers who study them.
Volunteers are asked to plant sunflowers and then count the number of bees it attracts in a half hour or less twice a month. The goal is 5 bees during that time setting.
The sunflower that they are suggesting is the LEMON QUEEN (an American Natitve flower) ~ you need a sunflower that has POLLEN…and because people don’t like the pollen on their cut flowers, some sunflowers have been altered to be pollen-free. 😦
Pollen is critical for new bees so the Lemon Queen has been picked as the sunflower of choice. They are protein-packed and can be grown in your garden or pots…it will produce multiple, lemon-yellow blossoms all summer long so bees can be counted for many months.
Ultimatley, researchers hope to pinpoint geographic regions in which bees are most scarce, so participants without any bee visitors on their sunflowers will supply the most important data of all.
To donate or sign up for the free program, visit
www.greatsunflower.org, while supplies last, a packet of Lemon Queen seeds will be sent to you. But you can always buy them at
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (www.rareseeds.com) and
Gurney's Seed & Nursery (www.gurneys.com) ~
Here is a list from the Project Site itself.
I’m going to look around the Reno/Sparks area to see who carries them locally. NOTE: If you’re in the Sparks/Reno area…the Sparks Lowe’s has the Lemon Queen seed packets!