Cindy Dennis

Executive Director

Be a bee in the middle of a sunflower field.

A local farm grows a field of sunflowers in my town. For only two weeks, tourists and photographers come to take selfies in the blossoming field of yellow.

I see aisle after aisle of people randomly posing in front of a stock of sunflowers- walking like a model with a friend snapping photos and telling them how to pose.

I see a newborn shoot going on with a professional photographer- everyone is wearing similar clothes and making canned smiles.

From my point of view, as I was taking photos of the flowers, I saw that not only tourists come to enjoy the sunflower field, but hundreds of bees and other pollinators.

Every flower had a different bug, beetle, butterfly or bumblebee.

To all of the Instagram models, they were but a nuisance, ruining their perfect shot. But it fascinated me to see such hard-working creatures just being shooed away.

If people only knew what these pollinators were doing- they were the ones responsible for the sunflower field. They were the ones that were responsible for creating life on our planet. Without them, there would be no vegetables, no fruits and no plants.

Honeybees, especially, were considered an annoying pest in this field of flowers. When a butterfly came by, there were oohs and ahhs, and a quick attempt at a photo. But when a bee came by, there were screams and grimaces.

When I was observing all of these things in the sunflower field,it reminded me that even the smallest most humble creature has a job. Though thankless and misunderstood, it doesn’t bother them that no one wants to take a picture of them.

The honeybees continue to work without stopping- day and night- without accolades and acknowledgment.

The sunflowers get all the attention and the bees are despised.

And for two weeks, the sunflowers have their day in the sun. They get thousands of pictures taken of them and they are praised for their beautiful petals.

But after two weeks, when all of the petals fall and all the roots dry up, what is left of the beautiful sunflower? Yes there are seeds that can be consumed and used again. But what is the legacy of the bee?

After the beer dies, the honey that he has gathered from thousands and thousands of flowers can remain intact for thousands of years without spoiling (there is a true story of an ancient Egyptian tomb with honey sealed and still good for consumption).

His honey not only feeds his entire colony, but he’s been used for medicine for centuries.