Ready, Set, Count!

comments (0) July 16th, 2011

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WesternGardener Jodi Torpey, contributor
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A few minutes spent observing bees for The Great Bee Count helps researchers with bee conservation efforts.Click To Enlarge

A few minutes spent observing bees for The Great Bee Count helps researchers with bee conservation efforts.

Photo: Jodi Torpey

Today’s your chance to lend a hand to the most overworked and underappreciated helper in your garden. All you have to do is spend a few minutes counting bees.

The Great Bee Count is a one-day, national effort to encourage gardeners across the country to count bees and report their data for The Great Sunflower Project.

The Great Sunflower Project is a citizen science effort that helps with bee conservation efforts. Volunteers count the number of bees landing in their gardens and report their observations on the project’s website.

The project is the brainchild of Grechen LeBuhn, a professor in the Department of Biology at San Francisco State University. She started The Great Sunflower Project as a way to gather data about backyard bee activity. The more that researchers know about pollinator populations, the more action they can take to preserve and enhance pollinator habitat.

In addition to The Great Bee Count, gardeners can be part of a live, online broadcast dedicated to bee conservation called the Bee-A-Thon. This is a day-long effort designed to give bee lovers a chance to hear from bee experts about bee biology and changes in global bee populations. Bee-A-Thon 2011 runs July 16, from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific time.

Even if you’re not able to count bees today, The Great Sunflower Project still needs your help by observing bees throughout the summer and reporting what you see.

We hope you’ll join us.


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posted in: bees, the great sunflower project, the great bee count