We’ve successfully proved that the Wild Pollinator Count is not a one hit wonder! Thank you to everyone who took part in the second count. The number of observations we collected was 59, almost double the number from the first count last spring. And our geographical range expanded dramatically too, with observations submitted from 25 locations in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
Our next wild pollinator count is on again in April. Pollinators in autumn?! Yes, spring and summer are generally when we think of wild pollinators. But they are around in autumn too, and they will be looking for plenty of resources to build their nests and provide for the next generation. Is your garden ready?
Flowers, the obvious first step!
- Many online pollinator flower guides are for northern hemisphere gardens, so most recommend plants that are not native to Australia. But most of these flowers are still great for attracting wild pollinators here, especially fragrant herbs like lavender, salvia, coriander and basil.
- If you prefer a native garden, the Rural Industries and Regional Development Corporation has released a free-to-download guide to planting for pollinators. It is aimed at honey bees but is also relevant to wild pollinators, and provides handy information on seasonal flowering times and regional differences.
- Plan flowers for every season, so your garden can sustain pollinator populations throughout the year. Also choose modern hybrid varieties carefully, as some have been bred for quantity (size and fullness) not quality (nectar and perfume).
- Plant a riot of colour! There is no single best colour for pollinators, as different insects have different levels of colour vision, and other factors like nectar and flower shape also determine whether a pollinator visits.