Bring a Bee to Work Day.




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 !

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    25 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Wonderful! My husband and I are beekeepers. Don't forget to leave the dandelions in flower. They're another huge source of food for bees. Before beekeeping, I shared sunflowers. too. The custom was for parents to send bags of treats for the whole class to celebrate your child's birthday in Kindergarten. Usually, my children came home with lots of little plastic dollar store toys. When it was our turn, we filled old (clean!) cotton socks with potting soil, a couple of sunflower seeds in a paper envelope, and a small clay pot all tucked into a paper bag. On the outside of the bag we drew a pictures: soil + a drop of water + a seed = a happy sunflower. These little goodie bags were a huge success with parents and kids.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    2 replies

    Dear Kameokid,

    I grew some dwarf red sunflowers once but conversely I prefer the fun of the tall ones.

    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.

    Thanks for commenting.

    Thanks for the comment.

    There are a few alternatives to pesticides here.


    5 years ago

    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?

    1 reply

    Dear Mielameri,


    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.

    I've added the link in the first step.


    5 years ago

    This is really cool! I have two large beehives and one small one.

    1 reply

    5 years ago

    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

    1 reply
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