Project Sunflower

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Summer Bee

I am currently a taking the UME Baltimore City Master Gardener course and last week we talked about pollinators which is one of my favorite topics. It sparked me to look at my garden and what I plant. Last year, I planted sunflowers and they were great in my garden. I found that sunflowers attracted a myriad of bees and other pollinators.

This year as part of my work with BeeMore, I am going up my game a bit by planting additional sunflowers at different sites. I found some great resources on this and the ongoing Great Sunflower Project.

I will share more on my efforts to support Project Sunflower.

Michelle

 

The buzz

Recently, I saw a video on the science behind buzzing  from the New York Times on the matter and that I found it informative. I think the science behind bee behavior is interesting. I happened to take some new photos of bumble bees s at Park Heights garden the other day.

I thought that this post would be a good way to distinguish the two.  Bumble or Mason Bees (pictured above) do not make honey but are very helpful pollinators. The Bumble bee lives in smaller numbers and they also do not produce wax and other by products. They are much larger and they are pretty harmless. Like most bees, if you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you.

Interesting Fact:  “When bumblebees vibrate flowers to release pollen, the corresponding buzz is quite loud. Honeybees (genus Apis) are incapable of buzz-pollination and are usually quiet when foraging on flowers. As an aside, some flowers are adapted to pollination by pollinators capable of “buzz-pollination.” Tomatoes, green peppers and blueberries all have tubular anthers with the pollen inside the tube. When the bee vibrates the flower, the pollen falls out of the tubular anther onto the bee. Consequently, bumblebees pollinate these crops much more efficiently than honeybees do.”  [Source Scientific American: Why do bees buzz?]

So be kind to the humble bumble bee! They are effective pollinators.

 

 

Bee Friendly Plants – My Garden

Here are some pictures from my summer 2017 garden of plants that attract bees and other pollinators.

Pictured above are:

  • Autumn Sunflowers
  • Black-eyed Susan
  • French Lavender
  • Cucumber plants
  • Catmint
  • Lemon Balm, Basil, and other herbs

In the mid-Atlantic, all of my flowers are in full bloom in late July and early August.

Here are some links that I have found helpful in my search for creating a sustainable garden.

I would love to hear more from you, I will add more posts and photos as the summer goes on…

 

 

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