Day 325: Sunflower power

Paul Gaugin's "Van Gogh Painting Sunflowers"

Paul Gaugin's "Van Gogh Painting Sunflowers"

Did you know that bees are responsible for every third bite of food we eat? The only reason I know that is because I just joined The Great Sunflower Project.

When you sign up (for free) online, and submit your mailing address, they send out a package of seeds (Lemon Queen sunflower seeds, to be exact). You then plant the seeds, tend to the sunflowers and watch and record bee activity.

Why? It goes back to that “third bite of food” fact. Turns out, bees pollinate about $15 billion a year worth of crops in the U.S.

Unfortunately, the number of honey bees in North America is declining, so this San Francisco State University project aims to assess the health of bee populations in the U.S. and Canada.

I’m happy to do my part. Not only do I love food, but I also feel a special affinity for the little honeys because my name (Deborah) means “bee” in Hebrew, apparently. I have been stung once, but I won’t hold it against all of them. (Mosquitoes, however, are another story….)

I found out about The Great Sunflower Project on the amazing Spread Change site, which is dedicated to budget philanthropy. Can’t wait for my free seeds to arrive. Besides the bee studying, there’s something about seeing a ridiculously tall sunflower towering above the rest of the garden that always makes me smile.

bee-on-sunflowerMore bee buzz:

  • A honey bee flies about 15 miles per hour, and its wings flap 11,400 times per minute, which makes their distinctive buzz.
  • A honey bee stings once and then she dies because her stinger is ripped out during the stinging process.
  • One pound of honey requires approximately 25,000 trips from the bee hive and contains the essence of about two million flowers.
  • Bees have no ears but can sense vibrations on surfaces they land on.
  • There are more than 20,000 species of bees, found all over the world except Antarctica.P.S. The Sunflower Project inspired my new header picture, above, hope you like it. And with my Day 365 fast approaching, I’m looking for any and all ideas for a really cool way to mark one full year of good deeding. I’d love to hear what you think!

    P.P.S. A lot of buzz about this performance. Enjoy!
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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Day 325: Sunflower power

  1. refnaf

    Love the new banner, and love the idea of helping to increase the honey bee population! I am trying to do the same for the butterflies….
    thanks GDAD. One year coming up!!! I’m proud of you!

  2. Mollie

    This made me laugh: “Did you know that bees are responsible for every third bite of foot we eat?”

    I knew you meant food but I really needed that laugh. Thanks. And happy upcoming anniversay.

  3. Jen

    This looks like such a fun project, but we’ve been waiting WEEKS for our seeds. It seems this has been a VERY popular project this year! That’s GREAT!

    We’ve enjoyed a revival of wildlife in our backyard since beginning a vegie garden (as opposed to lawn and bushes) a few years back. This year’s addition? Possums and voles. Not exactly the wildlife we were hoping for, but we have plenty of snails for the possums, and the hawks and owls are circling, so I’m hoping the Circle of Life carries on…ahem!

  4. Bea

    Seems the honeybee is the State insect of Utah, and all the buzz surrounding a young man from Utah is the inspiration for a blog!http://www.dabuzzing.org/

  5. Pingback: Summer Stash »

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