15-21 November 2021 – Celebrating Bees and Pollinators

Next week is Australian Pollinator Week with some fun activities to get involved with at school and at home.

MEET A BEEKEEPER

Come and hear in person about the amazingness of honeybees and how they make honey. Greg Morris is a local suburban beekeeper who will come and share his experiences of beekeeping with us. Friday 19th November 2021 at lunchtime in J17.

WILD POLLINATOR COUNT

Did you know that, along with the European Honeybee, many native insects also contribute to pollination in crops and gardens all around the country?

There still needs to be more research to identify all our pollinator insect species, understand their ecology and how they are affected by human activities. So far, we know that Australia has around 2,000 native bee species, all of which are important pollinators. We also know there are a couple of thousand butterfly, wasp, fly, moth, beetle, thrips and ant species, some of which are documented pollinators. Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of information on the ecology of many of these insects, what flowers they pollinate, or where they are found.

The Wild Pollinator Count gives you an opportunity to contribute to wild pollinator insect conservation in Australia.

We invite you to count wild pollinators in your local environment to help build a database on wild pollinator activity.

Take 10 minutes to watch flowers in your garden or local park and take note of what you see! Then enter what you’ve seen into the database.

For more information go to – Wild Pollinator Count

The POLLINATOR PICNIC

Celebrate our magnificent pollinators with an Australian Pollinator Week picnic. Meet with friends or family in your backyard or a local park.

Feature food that’s been pollinated by bees or other insects and take a moment to reflect on the role pollinators have played in creating that food – for our health and enjoyment. Reflect too on the role insect pollinators play in underpinning biodiversity and ecosystem health.

Try packing your school lunch full of bee-licious goodness during this week and give thanks for the bees.

AROUND CLONARD

This week is the chance to celebrate and appreciate those animals that pollinate our plants, whether it is for agricultural crops, garden fruit trees or our native wildflowers.

Spring brings the emergence and increased activity of many of our pollinating animals. These include bird species, marsupials such as possums, bats and especially invertebrates, with insects making up a large proportion of pollinators.

Pollination of flowers is an important step in the reproduction and life cycle of plant species. The transfer of pollen within and between flowers can be facilitated by factors such as wind and water flow, but pollinators also contribute greatly to this process.

The Clonard College native grassland garden is an excellent place to watch pollinators in action. Since the garden’s planting last year, I have observed many native insect species that have been attracted to the large range of indigenous wildflowers and grasses. The following images show just a small sample of native pollinators that have found their way into our little oasis of biodiversity. They include moths, butterflies, beetles, hoverflies, lacewings and wasps. Ants, caterpillars, slaters, spiders and millipedes are also present. Next time you are passing the grassland garden, see if you can spot some pollinators amongst the wildflowers.

Craig Billows