Caitlin Fitch

With the support of the Beekeepers Guild of Santa Barbara, 6th graders at Peabody Charter School have been diligently tending to the 250 sunflower seedlings that they will be exchanging for a small donation at this weekend’s Earth Day Festival. The public-outreach project is part of a nationwide emphasis on planting sunflowers called The Great Sunflower Project, which aims to raise awareness to the plight of honeybees everywhere due to drought and insufficient amounts of pollen. “As honeybees are responsible for pollinating nearly a third of what we eat, it’s important that the kids understand their role,” said the guild’s John Ummel, who will also be giving away 2,000 sunflower seed packets donated by Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. The guild is also working on a “bee friendly” sticker program in collaboration with nurseries so that customers can identify plants that bees are particularly attracted to.


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