Tag Archives: Bee Balm

The Great Sunflower Project Article On The BUZZ: Join Us for the Great Bee Count on Saturday, August 11, 2012

The BUZZ: Join Us for the Great Bee Count on Saturday, August 11!

Greetings citizen scientists! Our poll results are in, and, at last count, some 46% of you have sunflowers up and blooming. About one-third (34%) are still waiting for blooms (or encountered an gardening mishap), and another 21% didn’t plant sunflowers this year.

Those of you lucky enough to have sunflowers in bloom are diligently sending in your bee observations. Congratulations to all those who have already had the opportunity to observe, collect and report their data. Well done! Without your thoughtful observations, we would not have the wealth of information that we have to date.

To see results from the project using data reported up to 2012, have a look here: http://www.greatsunflower.org/results#map – you can zoom in on your area, see averages by type of garden and trends by year. Great stuff, and all because of your participation!

It’s important that you keep sending in data, so please join us and thousands of others across the country in The Great Bee Count on Saturday, August 11th.

Even if you do not have blooms on your sunflowers by August 11th, you can still be enjoy, learn and be part of the project by observing bees on other plants that you may have in bloom. Cosmos, tickseed, bee balm and echinacea, are all on our list, so you can collect data on these if your sunflowers are not blooming yet. And, it’s okay if your sunflower hasn’t bloomed yet. They will in time so you can make your 15 minute observation when they do open up.

And, this year, in support of the Great Bee Count, YourGardenShow.com will present a special online live broadcast “Double Feature” on August 11th, from 10am – noon EST (7am to 9am PST). First hour: a special “Ask Ian” Q&A show about pollination and pollinators followed by an hour of moderated interviews with bee experts talking about our pollinator friends. Join us for this one day event!: http://www.yourgardenshow.com/ask-ian

As you can see from our map, bees are declining in certain areas, and there are some areas where we have no data. Could that be your garden? The more we know, the more action will be able to be taken to preserve and enhance pollinator habitat.

Join us on August 11th!

Freddy B

To Purchase Pollinator Seed Mix Click on Ion Exchange, Inc. Link Below



Wildflower of the Week – Monarda fistulosa – Wild Bergomot

MONARDA FISTULOSA | Wild Bergomot  - Perennial Wildflower Lavender colored blooms July through September.


 Wild Bergamot also known as Horsemint & Bee Balm.
Monarda named in honor of Spanish botanist,
Nicolas Monardes, who wrote extensively in the
16th century about medicinal and useful plants.
Fistulosa from the Latin for "like a reed or
a pipe" referring to the individual flowers.
Common to the eastern and northeastern US and
the central Tallgrass region on rich, moist
soils. Found along the edges of woods, roadsides
and old pastures. Pink to light purple
flowers from July to September. Can grow to 5
feet. Typical square stem of the mint family.
Native Americans used a tea made from the
leaves of Wild Bergamot to treat colic,
flatulence, colds, fevers, stomachaches,
nosebleeds, insomnia, heart trouble
and to induce sweating in measles. Apoultice
made from the leaves was used to treat headaches.
Physicians once used the same leaf tea to expel worms and gas.

Edible Uses: Unknown

Medicinal Uses: Wild bergamot was often employed
medicinally by several native North
American Indian tribes who used it to treat
a variety of complaints, but especially
those connected with the digestive system.
It is still sometimes used in modern herbalism.
The leaves and flowering stems are carminative,
diaphoretic, diuretic and stimulant.
An infusion is used internally in the treatment
of colds, catarrh, headaches, gastric disorders,
aching kidneys, to reduce low fevers and soothe
sore throats. Externally,
it is applied as a poultice to skin eruptions,
cuts etc and as a wash for sore eyes. The
leaves can be harvested before the plant flowers,
or they can be harvested with the flowering stems.
They can be used fresh or dried. The plant contains
the essential oil 'bergamot oil' which can be
inhaled to treat bronchial complaints.The leaves
also contain 'thymol', an essential oil that can be used
to expel gas from the digestive tract.

Other Uses: The leaves have been used as an insect repellent.

Herbal Uses: Unknown