Final weekend for autumn 2016 count

The autumn Wild Pollinator Count continues until Sunday 17th April, so there’s still time to join in or have another go!

Thanks to those who have already completedĀ a count (or a few!) and submitted your results. You still have time to count until Sunday evening, and you have until next weekend to submit your observations via our website.

Image of butterfly, moth, native bee and fly

More than just bees … some pollinator insect images submitted during the count by Laurie M, Erica Siegel, Vivien Naimo and Karen Retra.

Some contributors to this season’s count have noted that there are fewer flowers in bloom and less pollinator insects than are usually seen in spring and summer. This is to be expected in autumn, as many insects decrease in numbers and some disappear altogether as the weather cools. Why don’t pollinators like cooler weather? Click here to read our blog post on this.

We’re enjoying some wonderful photos that are also being shared as part of the count. You can view some of them here and we’ll continue to add to them as they come in. Remember that you don’t have to take photos to participate in the count, but we’d love to see them if you do.

Have a great weekend and happy counting!

Wild pollinator gardens

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.

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