Our first Australian Pollinator Week Workshop with native bee ecologist Amelie Vanderstock, held Sunday 14 November 2021, was booked out and due to popular demand we held a second workshop.

Welcome to the Pollinator Count. Let's BEE citizen scientists and celebrate the diversity of pollinators in the Blue Mountains! 

Did you know? 

  • That around 1/3 of every mouthful we eat is thanks to insects and other animal pollinators.
  • Around 75% of flowering plants need, or benefit from, animal pollinators to reproduce.
  • It's not just honeybees! There are over 2000 native bee species in Australia. That's not even counting the native bees, wasps, butterflies, moths and other pollinating insects that are hard at work everyday.
  • As insects are declining globally, it's important to document who is here so we can see how their populations are changing. For this we need your help.

The Pollinator Count 2021

Council's Planetary Health Initiative invited everyone to become citizen scientists and join the Pollinator Count from November 14 to 21 2021

Grab a hat and some sunscreen and get outdoors to spot pollinators for this exciting national science project.

You can contribute from your own garden or while on a bushwalk. Just select a flowering plant and observe the insects that visit it in 10 minutes. 

The insects observed and counted will go to a national database dedicated to wild pollinator insect conservation in Australia.

You can find downloadable data sheets and ID guides at https://wildpollinatorcount.com

You can also take photos and upload them to the i-naturalist project here https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/wild-pollinator-count

Other events and resources can be found at https://www.australianpollinatorweek.org.au.

Image: Blue banded bee

Want to know more about the pollinating insects of the Blue Mountains and how to recognise them?

Check out the video with pollinator ecologist Amelie Vanderstock.  Amelie is currently working on a baseline survey of wild pollinators at the old Katoomba Golf Course site.

We held family-friendly, live, Zoom workshops with Amelie on 14 November from 10.30am to 12pm or from 1pm - 2.30pm. 

From your own backyard, learn about the importance, ecology and diversity of our local pollinating insects. Together, you will become citizen scientists and step away from the screen to do a “Wild pollinator count” from wherever you are. 

You'll have the chance to share some of the insects you find and brainstorm ways to support our pollinators through planting and habitat creation in our own backyards. 

Amelie also recently read the book 'Bee Detectives’ by Vanessa Ryan-Rendall and Brenna Quinlan for the Blue Mountains library. Watch the video here

5 ways that you can protect our native pollinators

Plant flowers: A mix of herbs, edibles and native plants means you will have flowers year-round, providing food for the bees, yourself and your neighbours.

Support native bushland conservation: 90% of our native bees are solitary, tunneling into bare earth and old trees. Bushland corridors will help both the birds and the bees.

Messy gardens = bee friendly gardens: Allowing your vegetables to go to seed, leaving some sticks lying about and mowing your lawn less creates habitat for our native bees.

Create chemical-free environments: Even ‘organic’ herbicides and pesticides can be harmful for bees. Your local community gardeners probably have friendly tips on ‘integrated pest management’ such as companion planting and biological controls that can help you go chemical-free.

Learn and share! The wild pollinator count is just the beginning.