Participating in the Wild Pollinator Count is as simple as looking for insects landing on a patch of flowers for 10 minutes. The insect might be a native or European bee, a butterfly, wasp, fly, moth or beetle.
The insects observed and counted will go to a national database dedicated to wild pollinator insect conservation in Australia.
Spot the pollinators
Amelie Vanderstock, PhD researcher in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Sydney, is studying the role and resilience of native bees and other pollinators in community gardens of Sydney. Amelie will be hosting wild pollinator counts in Sydney over the week.
“Citizen science is a powerful way for us to learn with communities about the ecology that affects our everyday lives,” said Ms Vanderstock. “Observing flowers for native bees, flies and wasps is interacting with our gardens and bushlands in a new way – you notice so much more!”
Ms Vanderstock said one of the greatest threats to pollinators in Australia is how little we know about them. “We have more than 2000 species of native bees, each with different floral and habitat preferences. By understanding where they are and how to recognise them, we can support our pollinators as local communities.”
Ms Vanderstock facilitates workshops on pollinators, native bee diversity, and their identification for all ages.
Help protect pollinators
Plant flowers: A mix of herbs, edibles and native plants means you will have flowers year-round, providing food for the bees, yourself and your neighbours.
Support native bushland conservation: 90% of our native bees are solitary, tunnelling into bare earth and old trees. Bushland corridors will help both the birds and the bees.
Messy gardens = bee friendly gardens: Allowing your vegetables to go to seed, leaving some sticks lying about and mowing your lawn less creates habitat for our native bees.
Create chemical-free environments: Even ‘organic’ herbicides and pesticides can be harmful for bees. Your local community gardeners probably have friendly tips on ‘integrated pest management’ such as companion planting and biological controls that can help you go chemical-free.
Learn and share! The wild pollinator count is just the beginning.
For information and resources to do a count in your community, go to Wild Pollinator Count