The bees are in trouble and with spring coming there is a chance to help them.

This project began with the idea of just taking some sunflowers  into the barren, concrete yard at work to attract bees; but because I had 57 seeds left over it became a bigger project to get every one around me to nurture a sunflower.

The bees have many problems but perhaps the simplest thing that we can all do to help the bees is to plant some things that they like.

.. . . . please read onto the next steps , or check out the links below . . .

For more information here are a section of links:






Step 1: Buying Seeds

Firstly, I went on Ebay and bought 60 Russian Giant seeds, they can grow to 12 feet high if they are in a sunny spot.

The guy selling them was not doing it for profit, he just grows them because he enjoys it.

Step 2: Compost and Pots.

I bought some compost ( a grow bag seemed the most inexpensive way.)

Next, I gathered 60 of my empty houmous pots ( I do eat a lot of houmous ) and filled them with compost, with a seed in each pot.

Remember to put in large holes in the base for drainage ( or slit the side of the pot).

Step 3: The Seedlings.

I kept these outside, high up on a table to fool the slugs.

They quickly germinated.

I noticed that the root was curling up at the base of these small pots so I transfered some to newspaper pots.

During this process I read that the seedlings do not like to be disturbed, so I left the rest of them alone ( but the disturbed ones turned out ok).

I also read that bees are sensitive to the metals that are contained in coloured inks so I stopped making newspaper pots because I could not find any newspapers without coloured inks.

Step 4: Spread the Joy.

With my seedlings ready, I printed out theses flyers.

I left a flyer and a seedling on each of my neighbours' doorsteps ( twenty three of them). 
None came back.

Some were left in the tiny pots and they grew but not so high . . .  most were put into bigger pots and grew well.
Even with the neighbours it became a competition.
The lady opposite was sure that her neighbour was cheating somehow.

I also gave them away to friends and passing strangers who happened to be around when I was carrying them about.

People were delighted . .  . I was surprised, I felt a bit silly giving these to my neighbours at first  . .  . but people were absolutely bowled over by the gift of these tiny plants.

Step 5: Take a Bee to Work.

The flowers that we grew at work became a competition to see whose would grow the tallest.

One chap watered his with Rockstar energy drinks daily; his grew the tallest but also was the only one that attracted greenflies and aphids.

One day I saw aphids being milked by ants, it was amazing ( I did not know that this happened with UK ants ).

Despite only being in the sun for a few hours a day the plants grew quite high.

I also grew a couple of pots with a wildflower mix as well.

Step 6: Time Lapse.

Here is a crude time lapse of one the flowers growing in my garden.

Step 7: Collecting the Seeds.

The sunflowers eventually begin to droop under the weight of the seeds and begin to go brown at the back of the seed head.

If it's a dry climate where you live the they can be left to dry.

I snipped my heads off and took them inside to dry out. ( I left some heads for the birds to feed on.)

When dry, a huge amount of seeds are easily removed.

They can be eaten by humans, guinea pigs or the birds and squirrels outside.

I have saved mine for planting.

Happy growing .

BZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzZZZZZZzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz !
<p>I have been planting sunflowers for years in my yard. I like the colored ones but plant the big ones too. Giving them away isn't as easy. Some of my work friends liked them. </p>
<p>Dear Kameokid,</p><p>I grew some dwarf red sunflowers once but conversely I prefer the fun of the tall ones.</p><p>I guess I was lucky when I was giving them away ( I didn't give people much choice; I mostly just dumped them on their doorstep) but I did find that people who were on the more elderly end of the scale and people with young children liked to receive the plants the most.</p><p>Thanks for commenting.</p>
Thanks what a nice idea.
<p>GREAT IDEA !!! THANKS FOR THIS...</p><p> and of course NO PESTICIDES / HERBICDES of any kind folks !!!</p>
<p>Thanks for the comment.</p><p>There are a few alternatives to pesticides here.</p><p>http://www.beesource.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-196261.html</p>
What an awesome idea! Maybe you should include something in your note about how all those fertilizers we put on lawns are a big culprit in killing the bees?
<p>Dear Mielameri,</p><p>Thanks.</p><p>I couldn't find too much about lawn fertilizers killing bees ( feel free to add a link) but while looking, I found some very sad stuff about Monsanto using fertilizer that kills hives off.</p><p>I've added the link in the first step.</p>
This is really cool! I have two large beehives and one small one.
<p>Thanks.</p><p>How excellent to have bee hives.</p>
this is such a simple and inspiring idea, bees are so important to humanity with out them we quiet possibly starve. nice work absolutley love it cheers
<p>Yes , it's amazing just how vital the bees are.</p><p>I'm glad that you liked it.</p>
<p>Quite a wonderful idea!</p>
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<p>I am so glad you did this. Great job, great pictures.</p>
<p>Dear Fikjast,</p><p>Thanks for the nice comments.</p>
I want you to be my neighbour!
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Fantastic! thank you for helping the bees!
I love this, I will be starting seeds soon.
<p>Excellent; just be careful of slugs; they seem to love munching the little seedlings.</p>
<p>This is a great idea but how are bees in trouble?</p>
<p>Hello,</p><p>Many reasons:</p><p>Pollution, pesticides, parasites, fungi, climate change and habitat loss.</p><p>&quot;In some areas, losses of honeybees are reported to be as high as 75 percent.&quot;</p><p>There are a few links on the first step but here is one to give you a flavour.</p><p><a href="http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/stories/5-ways-to-help-our-disappearing-bees" rel="nofollow">http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resour...</a></p><p>Kind Regards</p><p>FOH</p>
<p>Wow. I had no idea. I'm glad that my family has a bunch of flowers each spring that attract tons of bees. I didn't know what a big help such a simple thing can be.</p>

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