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The natives are going wild

May 4, 2018

European Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)

… native bees that is. It is with much chagrin that I admit I missed the Wild Pollinator Count recently. As well as collecting valuable data about the native pollinators of our flowers, this citizen science project, run twice a year, attempts to increase public awareness of which species do that job… and it is not just the European Honey Bee.

Hylaeus Bee (native)

Wild Pollinator week got away from me. A tour of the local wetlands to celebrate the event yielded no flowers at all, such is the topsy-turvy nature of the seasons in the district at the moment. It was not until I was on a meditation retreat a week later that I had a chance to sit and observe the requisite flower for 10 minutes (how meditative is that!). The flowers were attracting a heap of native bees (see photographs) and though not in the King Parrot Creek valley, all of the bees pictured can be found there.

Halictidae Bee (native)

The thing that amazes me the most since participating in these surveys is not the fact that there is a large range of native bees in addition to the Honey Bees pollinating our flowers, but that there are many other species that perform the same task – flies, wasps, beetles, butterflies, moths, birds. This is particularly evident in the spring wild pollinator counts (This year  between 11 – 18 November).

Blue-banded Bee (Amegilla cingulata) native

If you wish to participate by adding your observations later in the year check out the website https://wildpollinatorcount.com/ to find out how you can. And if you feel that distinguishing between a Flower Wasp and a Hover Fly is just outside your area of expertise you can download a helpful field guide to Pollinating Insects at https://karenretra.com/resources/ .

Ten minutes is all you need – but as I found out, sometimes it’s not so easy to get.

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 7, 2018 12:02 pm

    Thanks Ron and great photos!
    The ID tip sheets can also be found on the Wild Pollinator Count site https://wildpollinatorcount.com/resources/bee-fly-or-wasp-2/ .

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