Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bees and sunflowers

Never fails. I'm researching a specific subject (like now it's ladybugs) when–WHAM!– something else along the way catches my eye, and off I go. Down yet another verrrrryyyyyy interesting rabbit trail.

This morning, it was the Great Sunflower Project, which–like the Lost Ladybug Project–recruits people like you and me to help researchers survey bee species across the nation. You can read more about San Francisco State University's project in this article "Of Sunflowers and Citizens," American Scientist (Sept.-Oct. 2008). There's also more info in this PDF article, "Remarkable Students."

The project sends out sunflower seeds, which participants plant in their garden. Once the flowers bloom, then people watch and report on the bees that visit their sunflowers.

You bet I signed up! Our sunflower seeds should arrive later this month.

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