Earlier this year, we registered with the Blooms for Bees citizen science project. This involved growing from seed three colours (white, red and purple) of Mignon Series dahlias. These are now growing well in small bed in front of the club hut (and we will put a poster up about them today).
These 'bedding dahlias' are 'single' (simple flowers), nectar-rich and known to be liked by bumblebees. The scientists now want to find out if these bees have a preference for flower colour. We are doing the survey by counting the number of bumblebees on each colour of flower for 5 minutes each.
If you'd like to do this too (you need to be a registered participant), send your counts to our garden volunteers at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can enter them online for you.
You will need to tell us:
- On what date you did the count;
- The number of open flower heads included for each colour.
- The number of bumblebees on each colour in 5 mins each.
- If you can, identify the type of bumblebee (but this is quite tricky - they move fast!).
More info: www.bloomsforbees.co.uk
Update: January 2018 - the conclusion of the national survey was that the bees aren't fussy about colour but the late blooms were very appreciated by them.
Or just enjoy watching bees on the flowers!