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Welcome to the Great Sunflower Project!

The largest citizen science project focused on pollinators.

It's Winter 2014 and we are excited to be analyzing our counts of pollinators this year. Please join us now if you live in a climate where pollinators are out or start planning your 2015 garden and counts! You can register here. Basic instructions can be found in the Quick start guide. If you are concerned about using neonicotinoid pesticides in your gardens, here is a link to a list of the products that you can buy in many garden shops that contain neonicotinoid pesticides.

  1. Join our Safe Gardens for Pollinators program . Plant a Lemon Queen variety sunflower and help identify the effects of pesticides on pollinators.
  2. Join our Pollinator Friendly Plants program. Help identify the critical plants that support pollinators and regions where they thrive. Contribute a pollinator count from the plants in your yard or favorite green spaces.
  3. Take the Great Pollinator Habitat Challenge starting in May. Learn to evaluate and improve habitat for pollinators.

As always, thanks for participating!


Slider images by Hartmut Wisch (Sleeping male Melissodes bees), and Gretchen LeBuhn (school sign and hummingbird)

News and Features

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Dear Friends,

We have had another great year of gathering important information about pollinators and protecting habitat. Our data is being used to make decisions about key areas needing pollinator conservation and to evaluate pesticide use. Our protocol has become a model for other citizen science projects around the world.

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Here is an announcement from Home Depot. Glad to see they are going to let consumers make choices with full knowledge.

HONEY BEES & INSECTICIDES

The Home Depot is deeply engaged in understanding the relationship of the use of certain insecticides on our live goods and the decline in the honey-bee population.

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Gretchen Lebuhn's picture

Spring!

Dear All,

large_Bee-fountain.jpgWe are getting hints of Spring here in California. Even though it has been dry, our spring flowers and early bees are out! As we prepare to launch the Great Pollinator Habitat Challenge, our new program directed at helping everyone figure out how to make their spaces more pollinator friendly, we've been working to improve our garden for bees. Over the next few newsletters, we'll highlight some of the things that you can do.

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Gretchen Lebuhn's picture

Buying seeds

I’ve been getting lots of questions about where to get seeds and what to plant in the garden. I have read a lot about the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on bees and I am concerned about folks planting seeds that have been pre-treated with neonicotinoids. If you remember the reports from last year, 54% of a set of plants purchased at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Orchard Supply Hardware and other nurseries had been contaminated with neonicotinoid pesticides.