Sunflower Seeds Untreated

With the purpose of joining The Great Sunflower Project I sent a message to the experts at Ferry-Morse seeds  to make sure the Lemon Queen sunflower seeds I planted had not been treated with insecticide.

Sunflowers 2014 were not Lemon Queen but similar.

Here’s the answer I received:

Hi Jo,

  None of our seeds in any line have been treated, so The Sunflower Lemon Queen has not been treated with neonicotinoid treatment.
Sunflower buds are spectacular.
Exciting to know.  Now I have the opportunity to join the project.
The criteria for participation is:

1. Plant lemon queen sunflower seeds. Please check to make sure that the seeds did not receive a neonicotinoid seed treatment.

The Lemon Queens are growing best on the west side of the house.

Charlie has planted Lemon Queen sunflowers in 3 different places on our property.  I made sure they have not been treated (see above).

2. Submit at least 3 pollinator counts of at least 5 minutes duration.

This should be the easy part after the flowers start to bloom.  If your yard isn’t right for sunflowers you can join the project in this way.

Looking forward to a fence of sunflowers this year, too.

Using the data collected by participants, the Great Sunflower Project is finding:

1. neonicotinoid pesticides decrease visitation rates by honey bees and that this decrease is not simply due to differences in land use or climate.

2. there are significant local effects of pesticide use that threaten pollination services in areas where there is substantial neonicotinoid pesticide use and that may create diminished food security for these localities.

I think some of the hives for this local honey are in my neighborhood right across the street.

Are our bees diminishing and can the trend be reversed?  An easy project for a good cause.

Next task: Learn the difference between bees, wasps, flies. Differentiate different types of bees.

Will you count bees this summer?


Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

6 thoughts on “Sunflower Seeds Untreated”

  1. No, that’s not up my alley but I admire those who do. It’s an important project. I’m glad your seeds qualify for the project. I’m still busy digging out weeds.

  2. Bees are so important. We plant clover in our yard to help them. Plus, I like the look much better than plain grass. I didn’t plant any sunflowers this year, but there are some growing on their own. Volunteers are the best!

    1. In our yard the bunnies are loving the clover. And I think the plantain leaves. As long as they stay away from the cultivated vegs we’re ok. Jo

  3. I am so glad to see this sparked your interest!! The data gathered in this project has been incredibly useful for many many research projects on Native Bees! We (bee biologists, and general pollinator enthusiasts) generally don’t have a great idea about our baseline wild bee populations, and these citizen scientist monitoring projects are going a long way to help that.

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