Thursday, May 05, 2011

Planting time - for the bees

kw: citizen science, honey bees, bees, hobbies

It is time to get those Lemon Queen seeds and start a new batch of sunflowers! I had a fun time last year gathering and reporting bee sightings as part of the Great Sunflower Project. But it'll be late May or early June before I have new sunflowers blooming. (This image is from The Dailygreen, an article on citizen science.)

I am hoping in the future the Great Sunflower people introduce a project that begins earlier in the spring. My apple tree has already bloomed and dropped its blooms, as have the crab apple and flowering pear trees. They engendered quite a bit of bee activity for just a short time. The dogwoods are in bloom, but don't seem to attract bees. By their smell, I suspect they are pollinated by flies. I am sure there is some reliable pollen-producing flower suitable for extending the bee counting activities into mid or late April and through May.

Until then, this year I'll plant the sunflower seeds indoors to give them a head start in my sun porch, and put them out when they get flower buds.

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