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The Great Sunflower Project – Join the Hunt for Bees

Did you know that bees are responsible for every third bite of food that we eat?
Bees are fascinating little creatures and they are in trouble.

Sunflowers at Big Mill, a farm bed and breakfast in eastern North Carolina

Sunflowers on the farm

The Great Sunflower Project was begun in 2008 by the biology department at San Francisco State University to study the wild bee population. In 2009, lots of us were given free lemon sunflower seeds to plant in our gardens. We were to monitor the bee activity for a certain amount of time each day. There were 50,000 participants!

Attracting bees to the garden at Big Mill B&B in Eastern NC

Bees love the bee balm at Big Mill B&B

Well, something ate my lemon sunflowers … bummer … so I couldn’t participate. But this year, they have expanded the flower list to include bee balm, tickseed, cosmos, purple coneflower and rosemary. So I am fired up and ready to go!

Bees love flowers at Big Mill Bed and Breakfast near Greenville, North Carolina

Coreopsis (tickseed) in the Big Mill Garden

Why don’t you join in this Hunt for Bees? All you have to do is plant one of the flowers listed, get comfortable in your garden, watch the bee activity and record it. Any size garden will work – even container gardens!  The bonus, of course, by planting these flowers, you increase the odds of attracting hummingbirds and butterflies too.

Learn more about the project here: http://www.greatsunflower.org/ and on Facebook.

PS — Share your Great Sunflower Project photos over on Big Mill’s Facebook Page!

Let’s create a buzz!        Chloe Tuttle, North Carolina Innkeeper   

Bzzzzzzz …  I used to keep bees, but that is next year’s project.

Flowers on the farm at Big Mill, a bed and breakfast on the way to the Outer Banks beaches of North Carolina

Author: Chloe Tuttle

I am a farm girl who sailed the world, returned home to the family farm and opened Big Mill Bed and Breakfast. Join us for a quiet getaway 252-792-8787.

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