The Great Sunflower Project and Bees

It’s time to start thinking about another citizen science project:  The Great Sunflower Project at

Seed-packet-front-Great-SunflowerThe sunflower project involves growing a specific type of sunflower, Lemon Queen, and recording the types and how many bees come to visit the flowers.

This year the organizers are asking the participants to buy their own seeds because they can not fulfill the orders for the huge number of requests they received last year.

If you are interested in participating, the first step is to go to the website and register.  You will  find more instructions there and get future newsletters with information and updates.

The sampling protocol has been simplified a bit. This year you and your children will:
1) count the number of flowers on your plant with pollen;
2) record all bees (not just the first 5) your sunflower for 15 minutes; and
3) enter the data online.

Our family participated last year. I have to say I hadn’t had much success growing sunflowers before, but these Lemon Queen variety seeds grew beautifully.


We had quite a few bees visiting, although no honey bees.



Did you participate last year?

Let us know, we’d love to hear from you.


  1. Sandra Foyt

    Love this idea! We’ve had great success with Lemon Queens, and I think they’re self-sowing at this point. Will definitely add this to our summer projects!

  2. Roberta

    I was wondering whether the seeds we saved from last year would work. Good to know they self-sow. Would love to hear more as the growing season starts.

  3. Sharyn Limp

    I have these sunflowers in my garden and I cannot believe how many bees are visiting my garden. Honeybees and tiny bees. Im interesting in your study. I love bees..:)

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