Friday, April 25, 2008

Desert Honey

Parkinsonia x 'Desert Museum'

Information on the Desert Museum Palo Verde: (Post 1, and Post 2)

The four Desert Museum Palo Verde trees on my property are in full bloom, and humming with bees gathering pollen. The bees are more numerous than last year, but Colony Collapse Disorder is still a huge problem, causing the loss of billions of bees around the world.

Bees: Responsible For Every Third Bite of Food

"The Great Sunflower Project, a continent-wide event, focuses attention on bees and continues year-round with activities such as gardening, sunflower and bee watching, art, and science. These events are raising awareness about the world's most important pollinators--our native bees. You can help us gain a better understanding of which bees are declining where--and what habitats they need to survive.

People of all ages and backgrounds can participate, independently or with the many local organizations planting sunflowers in their gardens, including schools, public gardens, nature centers, museums, and parks. Participants watch sunflowers until five bees have visited and never longer than 30 minutes. The information is then sent to scientists at San Francisco State University by mail or online.

Everyone who signs up for this free project at The Great Sunflower Project can download the Sunflower Kit or ask to receive one by mail. The kit includes data forms for reporting the bees seen, a colorful guide to gardening for pollinators, educational materials about bees, and a packet of sunflower seeds to plant in pots and gardens.

“It is vital that we understand how bees where bees are declining in order to start to help them,” says project leader Dr. Gretchen LeBuhn. “Having healthy pollinators is important for both natural systems and our food supply.”
Your home, school or community garden and those around the world produce roughly 15-20% of all the food we eat. And for the urban poor, who spend 50-70% of their income on food, these gardens are a real source of good nutrition and an essential route to food security.

Whether your garden contains vegetables, fruit trees, flowers, or even medicinal plants, many of these plants must be pollinated before a fruit forms. And as the headlines for the last year have made clear, bees are under threat. Please consider becoming involved in The Great Sunflower Project:

Great family activity

Prior knowledge of bees not necessary

It’s easy

It won’t take any more than 30 minutes

Do it in pots, or a private or public garden

All you need is a sunflower

Free materials (including information and seeds)

Participate alone or with others

Share observations online or by mail

See The Great Sunflower Project website for more information.


Pudgeduck said...

Just signed up! Glad you gave us this needed info! Can't wait for my newly planted tree to look like yours!

Pam/Digging said...

I love that palo verde tree. I had a client once who wanted one desperately. They're not often found here in Austin, but under the right conditions (planted high in gravelly soil), maybe?

Mark said...

Hi Aiyana,
I spent the afternoon with a bee keeper the other day and he explained all about the collapse of colonies.
He seem to think it was because the bees were being moved around to much which stresses them out. Then like us when we are at a low ebb we get colds, well the bees then cannot cope with the parasitic mite that causes it and the colony is wiped out.

Cheers Mark

beckie said...

Aiyana, wonderful post! I will check into signing up.I have noticed more bees here in my ornamental cherry tree this year and am hopeful that in places they can make a come back. Have you been to Cheryl is an ardent bee lover and maintains her gardens for their benefit.

kate smudges said...

I love the Desert Museum tree. The flowers are beautiful.

Took a few minutes away to sign up for the Sunflower Project. It's worrisome to read about what has happened to honeybees.

Echinacea said...

Can you please help a friend of mine identify a tree in her yard in Arizona?

She has recently moved to AZ from England and is starting up her blog again....she would never ask, but I would!

Thank you in advance!