Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Time to plant your seeds

I got my yearly e-mail about the sunflower project today... I hope you are able to join in on the fun too!!

Happy Earth Day!

I want to remind you to get your Lemon Queen sunflowers in the ground! In most places, night temperatures are staying above 55 degrees so, it is planting time! ou can get seed at your local nursery or purchase them through us here. I’ve also heard reports that you can find them for less than a dollar at places like Target and Wal-Mart. We prefer that everyone use the same variety, Lemon Queen, because other varieties have different amounts of nectar and some even have been bred to have no pollen. You can imagine that bee is not very happy to find a sunflower with no pollen. Pollen is the sole source of protein for bees.

I am so excited to share some really interesting results from last year’s data. As you know, one of the things that the Sunflower Project is trying to understand is whether urban gardens do not get enough bees coming in to pollinate their plants. To my great surprise, in looking at the data, we find pretty similar rates of bee visits in rural, suburban and urban gardens.

You can see this on the graph. The gardens with the highest rates of visits were rural, second came urban and last came suburban. Remember that shorter bars are better! This is good news for urban gardeners. I haven’t looked to see whether there is something about the urban gardens, such as the gardens happening to be on average larger than the rural and suburban gardens that might be confounding these results. We have lots to do!

Let's get those sunflowers in the ground so, we can learn even more about what is happening in our bee habitats!

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