Only a few days to go!

The spring 2017 Wild Pollinator Count starts this Sunday 12 November and runs until the following Sunday 19 November. You can count pollinators anywhere in Australia, on any warm sunny during that week! Find more details on how to count here and some answers to common questions here.

We have plenty of resources to help you identify the insects you see (and remember, we don’t need to know species). Have a look at our printable brochure of common pollinators and our handy guide to distinguishing between different types of insects.

Once you’ve finished a count (you can do more than one!), please submit your observations via our online form. The form will stay open for submissions until 26 November, but we can’t accept any counts done after November 19. Results will be posted on the blog in early December.

And don’t forget you can share your photos and counting tips with us on social media using the official hashtag #ozpollinators.

Happy Counting!

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What pollinators will you see this autumn?

The autumn 2017 Wild Pollinator Count is on soon! The next national count runs from April 9 to 16.

You can count pollinators using our standardised 10 minute observation methods at any time during that week and submit your observations through our online form. Check out our identification resources if you need some help identifying insects. Remember, you don’t need to give us species names, just general insect groups (see the form for the types of data we ask for).

Our last autumn count in April 2016 collected over 200 observations from 86 localities across the eastern and southern states. But in spring 2016, we extended our records to Western Australia too. Hopefully we will get some observations from the Northern Territory this year!

Autumn is the season for winding down and preparing for the winter hibernation. And it’s an important season for pollinators. Many insect pollinator species are provisioning their last nest cells or laying their last eggs before winter. So plants that flower in autumn can be important resources for the next generation of pollinators we will see in spring.

If you’re not sure what is flowering in your local area, start scouting for potential flowers to observe now. With lots of rain in some parts of the country over summer and early autumn, you may be surprised at what plants are enjoying a renewed burst of colour!

If you can’t contribute this time round, the national count is on again in the second full week (Sunday to Sunday) in November and April every year.

Happy counting!

Native bee on sticky daisy bush (Olearia sp.)

Wild Pollinator Count Starts!

Wild Pollinator Count starts this weekend, on Sunday November 13. You can do a pollinator count in your backyard or local park any time until next Sunday November 20. All you need is a spare 10 minutes to watch a flower!

All the instructions you need to do the count are here. And you can find some answers to some of our frequently asked questions here. You can submit your observations via the online form here. Also check out our helpful resources and links on these pages.

The submission form will remain open until November 27, but only observations conducted during the count week (13-20 November) can be accepted.

Happy Counting!

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Searching for wild pollinators in winter

My partner and I do an Albury to south east Queensland road trip every year to visit my family. This year we holidayed during winter, which made the trip even more enjoyable. We left home just before a particularly cold Antarctic blast blew through town. But I wasn’t just looking forward to escaping the weather and catching up with friends. It had been a while since I’d seen any wild pollinators around Albury, so I was keen to spot some on our travels north. Continue reading

April 2016 Count Results

Thank you to everyone who participated in the April 2016 Wild Pollinator Count! Just over 200 observations were submitted from 86 locations, all the way from Buckleboo in South Australia to Cairns in North Queensland.

April 2016 map

Participants counted almost 2000 insects during flower observations. Some people included insects that flew past the flower without landing, but we haven’t included those numbers here. We also haven’t included ants, as these are often more likely robbing nectar rather than pollinating. European honey bees were the most abundant pollinator insects, followed by our native bees, butterflies and moths. And don’t forget the flies and wasps! Continue reading

Thank you for counting!

The autumn 2016 count is now over. Thanks to all who contributed observations!

The submission form will remain open until Sunday April 24 for you to submit your observations. From a quick glance through the observations we’ve received so far, residents from at least 5 states have participated. We’re looking forward to finding out what wild pollinators they’ve seen!

The next spring count will be on between 13-20 November 2016. In the meantime, you can still share any wild pollinator sightings and resources on social media using the #ozpollinators hashtag. We also have a Bowerbird project and a Flickr album you can view all year round.

Happy wild pollinator spotting!

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 completed 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!

Photo Competition Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered our Wild Pollinator Count & Slopes 2 Summit Photo Competition! We were excited by the diversity of wild pollinator insects captured by the entrants. Taking photos of pollinators can be tricky – even expert photographers have plenty of ‘near misses’ too. Taking photos can also be a great help in trying to identify the insect later, or to provide a record of your observation.

We are pleased to announce 10 prizewinners across the competition categories. We are grateful to Slopes 2 Summit and the NSW Government Environmental Trust for providing these prizes.

 

POLLINATOR PORTRAIT: Stephen Schilg, Macro honey bee

By Stephen Schilg: macro honey bee

 

MULTIPLE POLLINATOR INSECTS: Angela Cook, Native bee and blue banded bee

By Angela Cook: Native bee and blue banded bee

 

NEAR MISS: Joanne Diver, Blurry bee with salvia

By Joanne Diver: Blurry bee and salvia

 

STUDENT: Matilda Willinck, beetle on Burgan

By Matilda Willinck: Beetle on Burgan

 

MOBILE PHONE/TABLET: Dan Jones, Silky oak bees

By Dan Jones: Silky Oak Bees

 

POINT & SHOOT CAMERA: Joanne Diver, Pollinator stopped by for a drink

By Joanne Diver: Pollinator stopped by for a drink

 

OZPOLLINATORS (4 winners):

Erica Siegel, Homalictus urbanus on salvia

By Erica Siegel: Homalictus urbanus foraging on Red Salvia

 

Faye Arcaro, Paper wasp on milkweed

By Faye Arcaro: Paper wasp on milkweed

 

Yvonne Davila, Wasp are you lookin’ at?

By Yvonne Davila: Wasp are you lookin' at?!

 

Iris Curran, Sawfly on Flying Duck orchid

By Iris Curran: sawfly on Flying Duck Orchid

 

Each prizewinner will receive a voucher for photography gear or books to the value of $100.  You can view all the entries in our Flickr album.