Thursday in the City- Giveaway to join the hunt for bees!

A lot of organizations are using the internet to gain interest and participation in public art and science projects.   Most recently, I participated in the Wonderarium where you plant a succulent that came with a UPC like code that allows the plant to be tracked online.   That way everyone participating could watch how others were doing and where they were.   I found a similiar project while walking around the Green Festival this past weekend only this one involved tracking bees.   I spoke to a represetative at the “Your Garden Show” booth. is a free online platform connecting gardeners of all experience with a wealth of knowledge, tools and resources to inspire environmentally sustainable green spaces, big and small, indoors and out. They are recruiting ‘bee counters’ for one of the citizen science initiatives they are supporting, The Great Sunflower Project.  People get a seed packet of Helianthus annuus, Lemon Queen Sunflower, to attract bees to their garden.  They are then asked to report online how many bees they count. This would be a great activity for anyone concerned with the bee population, just curious or with a classroom. 

The Great Sunflower Project was started two years ago as a way to gather information about our urban, suburban and rural bee populations. They wanted to enlist people all over the US and Canada to observe their bees and be citizen scientists. Sunflowers were chosen  so that they could standardize study of bee activity and provide more resources for bees. Sunflowers are relatively easy to grow and are wildly attractive to bees. Since 2008, the expanded list of plants studied include Bee balm, Cosmos, Rosemary, Tickseed, and Purple coneflower. So far they’ve found that the on average our gardeners are likely to see a bee pollinate every 2.6 minutes. Surprisingly, over 20% of our gardens never saw a bee! 
For more information or to get involved with this project, go to  
Dog Island Farm has 5 seed packets to giveaway!  Just leave a comment below telling us what your favorite thing about fall is!  We will make the selections randomly.  Postage is only within the US.  

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