This year most of the Lemon Queen sunflowers that I planted for the Great Sunflower Project have survived the rodent attacks, and several of them are blooming in front of the horse barn. Time has come to count bees. Frankly, we have plenty of bees here, but until I signed up for this project, I had no idea how many varieties of bees there are. There are 4,500 varieties in the US alone!
It is interesting is that the sunflowers by the horse barn are being pollinated by a different variety of bee than those in the garden. I think these are Diadasia bees, which are specialized pollinators of sunflowers. They are solitary bees that make their nests in the ground, and I wonder where that might be. Those in the garden have bumblebees and honeybees doing the work.
But I had better count bees quickly because the plants are now being infested with some kind of caterpillar that appeared almost overnight, and they are doing a thorough job of annihilating the plants. I submitted a request to Bug Net for identification. Meanwhile, I sprayed the plants with BT, but saved a couple that were put into the "cocoon jar". Can't wait to see what kind of butterfly develops.