The results are in – a phenomenal 363 observations, over 6 times more than our last count. And the pollinator counting excitement has spread to 119 localities across Australia – NT was the only state that didn’t contribute observations…let’s hope they join in next time!
Over 6000 insects were spotted on flowers in pollinator counts around the country. The majority were European honey bees, but our native bees weren’t far behind.
|Pollinator||Number of observations|
|European honey bees||1616|
|Other native bees||1109|
|Butterflies & moths||445|
Exotic plants (194 observations) were watched more than native plants (139 observations). Some of the most popular exotics were herbs like coriander, thyme and borage, and pollinator-friendly shrubs like buddleja. Popular natives included grevilleas, bottlebrushes and tea-tree. Unfortunately, 30 observers did not submit enough information for us to determine which plant species they observed for the count.
The number of people who sent in photos also increased this time – you can view the photo gallery here. It’s great seeing how many wild pollinators we have in Australia! Trying to snap pollinators on camera is a great way to identify the insect later if you didn’t get a good look at it on the flower. There are lots of identification resources online, including our own pollinator ID guide, Bowerbird.org.au and some of the websites we’ve listed here.
Thanks again to the Slopes 2 Summit partnership and the NSW government’s Environmental Trust for their support on the November 2015 count. The public events around Albury were a success, and we were particularly pleased to welcome Dr Michael Batley during the count week. Michael gave a fascinating public talk on the antics of our native bees and provided a wealth of knowledge and insect-netting expertise at our schools-only day – it’s amazing what you see if you stop and take a closer look!
And we were thrilled to discover two new blue-banded bee species for the Albury region. For many years, records indicated that only Amegilla asserta was found around Albury. However, during Michael’s visit, we discovered that both Amegilla chlorocyanea and another Amegilla species (possibly A. murrayensis, but this is yet to be confirmed) can also be found here.
These species have likely been living here for years, but we just haven’t been paying enough attention. What better incentive to go outside and have a look?
Thank you to everyone who participated. The winners of the photo competition will be announced this week and the next count will be on again in April 2016. Sign up for updates, or keep an eye on the website, as we will announce the dates early next year. We look forward to receiving your observations next time. And don’t forget you can join in the pollinator conversation on Twitter all year-round, just by including the #ozpollinators hashtag in your tweet.