The Wild Pollinator Count is running in Australia all this week (15-22 November). It's super easy, no fancy equipment or skills needed. All you have to do is sit quietly and watch any flowering plant for 10 minutes and note what you see. Easy right?!?!?
You can head over to the official website to find our how to count the pollinators, identify the insects that you see and submit your observations.
I spent 10 minutes today observing a little patch of what I think is Xerochrysum viscosum, or golden everlasting or paper daisy. The patch has about 20 flowers on it and is just on the side of our driveway, where it flowers each year. In the 10 minutes of observation I saw three butterflies (they skittered off quite quickly), a tiny native bee, a few small flies and loads of ants (ants are pollinators too!). I also saw several iridescent blue flying insects... I have no idea what they are, but I am hoping the Wild Pollinator Counters will!
I watched the paper daisy patch specifically because it didn't have any European honey bees on it and I was curious to see what else I might see... we have so many honey bees on our property, and whilst they don't seem to bother any of the other pollinators they definitely seem to be more drawn to the introduced plants (and most particularly the blue/purple flowering ones I think) than the natives. That may not be scientifically correct, but it seems to be the way of things in the insect world of our garden.
It is really nice to just sit for a little while and be still and watch a plant and see what happens. And it is nice to be able to be a "citizen scientist" for the day, so if you have a spare 10 minutes this week, perhaps you can join in.
Full details on the Wild Pollinator Count website. Submission of observations is super easy!