Over the past few years, scientific studies have suggested that both honey bee and native bee populations are in trouble. What we don’t know is how this is affecting pollination of our gardens, crops and plants in wildlands. In 2008, we started this project as a way to gather information about our urban, suburban and rural bee populations and to give people like you the tools to learn about what is happening with the pollinators in the places they care about.
The best and most useful way to contribute to the Great Sunflower Project is to focus on a particular site or set of sites. Each time you visit your yard, favorite park or wild area, you can do a pollinator count on any of the plants in that space. Over time, this will be a list of the most important plants for each pollinator and give you an indication of which plants are important at specific times of the year.
Together, your data and the data from everyone else who participates creates the largest single body of information about pollinator service in North America. Thanks to our thousands of observers, we can create a map of North America and determine where pollinator service is strong or weak compared to the national average.
While we love to get data from our namesake species, Lemon Queen Sunflowers, you can participate by watching any plant and recording how many pollinators visit, or recording pollinators as you take your favorite hike!