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Great Sunflower Project

Today we did some observations as part of the Great Sunflower Project. We signed up earlier in the year to participate and they sent us some seeds to plant in our garden. Our job was to observe the sunflowers once they bloom and count how many bees visited our flowers. You are asked to observe until you see five bees or for thirty minutes.

We did not have to wait even a minute before we saw our first bee! We had five bees observed in less than five minutes.
unfolding sunflower
Here is one sunflower that is just unfolding its bloom. I love the way it looks.

lemon sunflower
I love the patterns in this sunflower. You can really see how it is a composite flower with its rays and florets.

bee crawling inside sunflower
This bee couldn’t wait for the sunflower to open…he had to push his way into the inside to reach the pollen.

bee with pollen on sunflower
Have you ever seen so much pollen on a bee before? I couldn’t stop watching this guy and his overloaded pollen sacs. Wow! He is one busy bee.

Mammoth sunflower with blue sky
This is my favorite sunflower in the whole garden. We grew it from a seed saved from last year and it is a Mammoth Sunflower. It is really tall and the bloom is huge.

Mr A with mammoth sunflower
This is my son who is six feet tall….he is dwarfed by this sunflower. Look at how large the leaves are!

finches eat the leaves
This is what the finches are doing to the leaves. They sit and nibble every afternoon. I guess there is enough to share.

This is a really fun and easy project. Check out the Great Sunflower Project for your family next year.

Gardens ebook Outdoor Hour challenge

14 thoughts on “Great Sunflower Project

  1. Barb,
    These are great photos of the sunflowers.I love the one with the overloaded bee.I also like the elephant flowers.They look like the Heffalumps on Winnie the Pooh.LOL :o)

  2. this is impressive. Our seeds didn’t fare well so we had to stop the study. Are you allowed to study bees from another type of flower? I didn’t think so, so we aren’t doing it. I enjoyed your post though and shared it with my kids.

  3. karin,

    There is a place on the form online to record if you observed bees on different flowers. I am pretty sure it will help their study.

    Check out the form.
    Barb-Harmony Art Mom

  4. Awesome photos!! We are also doing this project but just got started a couple of weeks ago. I love the photo of your son beside the Sunflower =) God Bless–Angie in GA

  5. Woa those are huge. Your son doesn’t look too happy about posing, though 😉
    None of the sunflower seeds we planted sprouted, except the one Amie planted. It was probably put in too late, but she still enjoys seeing it outgrow everything else in the garden.

  6. We are still waiting on our sunflowers. They are getting tall but only about half way there.

  7. We joined the project too. I got my seeds a long time ago, but I was a slacker mom and we didn’t plant them. Is it too late in the summer to start anyway?

  8. Rana,
    I am not sure where you live. It really depends on your fall weather. You might as well give it a try. 🙂

    Barb-Harmony Art Mom

  9. Stunning photos, Barb! I felt warm just looking at them.

    We just lost the last of twenty Russian Mammoth Sunflowers we’d planted. Two feet high and it looked like it had been plucked out of the ground.

    If you are willing, we are heading on our camping trip next week. Please leave me any favorite camping recipes/food ideas that worked for you in my comments.

    Thanks Barb. It’s always a pleasure to read your posts!

  10. We did this, too, but our sunflowers were very small. (Are those the ones that came with your packet?) We only had 3 that bloomed and then they all burned up while we were on vacation. I think we’ll try again next year, though!

  11. Dana,

    I planted three different kinds of sunflowers and I think they are all mixed up now. The one that is unfolding in the photos I think is the actual Lemon Sunflower that they sent out in the packet. Not sure though…..


  12. I loved this post! and I would love to do this here in Australia… I think we might be still be in time to plant for summer “O) Thanks again for a wonderful idea of something to do in nature.

  13. Great photos, Barb. I love your new nature sounds on your blog, too. I might copy you, if that is OK. 😀

    Take care,

  14. Those are outstanding photos, Barb! I’m taking the kids to go watch our sunflowers. The horses keep eating them and we’ve been lucky to get even a couple to bloom.

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