The Buzz Around the Great Sunflower Project
What’s happening to our bees? Become a citizen scientist and join the hunt for bees.
While we’ve heard a lot about bee colony collapse disorder and can estimate the decrease in the number of honey bees, we know very little about native bee declines and what impact this will have over time.
In 2008, Gretchen LeBuhn, from San Francisco State started the Great Sunflower Project as a way for people from all over North America to get involved in observing what bees are doing in their gardens.
Participation is simple. Volunteers get sunflower seeds from the Great Sunflower Project. Plant the sunflowers and once they bloom, volunteers now serving as citizen scientists, count the number of bees that come to their sunflowers in a 15-minute timeframe.
Once we can determine the BPM (bees per minute) from a site, we can look at the factors that high and low BPM sites have in common.
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Fred Bove is the Outreach Director for the Great Sunflower Project.