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Pollinator week highlights the plight of native bees

Central Tablelands Local Land Services has been highlighting the plight of our precious native bees and other essential pollination partners as part of Australian Pollinator Week celebrations (22 – 27 November 2016).

During Pollinator Week 2016, Local Land Services in conjunction with Central Tablelands Landcare hosted Pollinator workshops in Orange on how to create much needed native bee and bug habitat for these crucial insect species.

“Pollinators are currently in peril around the world, including here in Australia,” explained Liz Davis, Regional Landcare Facilitator with Central Tablelands Local Land Services.

“Our Pollinator Week workshops demonstrated how to work with recyclable materials such as bamboo, bark, and twigs to build bee and bug ‘motels’ to help boost their numbers.”

Australian native bees are important pollinators of fruit and nut crops, vegetables and valuable wildflowers and native plants, and the loss of wild pollinators is a serious threat to crop yields in horticultural and agricultural industries.

Unlike the European honey bee, most native bees are solitary insects that nest in the ground or inside cavities in vegetation.

Australia has over 1,600 species ranging from the spectacularly large 24mm yellow and black carpenter bees down to the tiny 2mm Quasihesma bees.

However native bees and other pollinating insects are under threat from loss of habitat, parasitic mites, disease, inadequate food supplies and some farm management practices including the use of pesticides.

Native bee survival is closely tied to the health of the environment, and there are simple and inexpensive things landholders can do to help native bee populations to thrive by providing food sources, safe nesting sites, and protection from pesticides.

Most bees are killed by pesticides when flowering crops are sprayed so landholders are urged to avoid or minimise sprays during flowering, and to reduce spray drift whenever possible.

Additionally, maintaining unsprayed flowering plant borders, hedgerows and headlands will provide pollinator friendly habitat.

More information about Australian Pollinator Week or contact Liz Davis at Central Tablelands Local Land Services on 0427 452 662.

Media enquiries: Kylie Krause | 0439608370