Every gardener knows that without pollinators, there would be no gardens. And no one pollinates quite like a bee. If you enjoy watching them scurry from flower to flower as much as I do, you might consider joining this year's Great Bee Count, which has been organized by San Francisco State University and will feed the Great Sunflower Project, the largest database of bee populations in North America.
Participants are encouraged to plant Lemon Queen sunflowers in order to establish a sustained observation point, but doing so isn't a requirement. All you need to do to take part is count bees wherever they are, on a single plant in your garden, in a public park -- even in a parking lot -- on Aug. 17. Then submit your count at greatsunflower.org. You then get to call yourself a "citizen scientist."