EcoPollinators

What’s the buzz about the birds, bees, butterflies and beetles?

They’re the subject of EcoNetwork’s very first special interest group, EcoPollinators, a community-based sustainability program to conserve and expand habitat for native pollinators, like this little beauty.

James Niland, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Blue Banded Bee – Image © James Niland, (CC BY 2.0)

The delightful Blue Banded Bee is one of the many native bees living in our area. Unfortunately, this bee – like many native species – is losing its habitat with urban and industrial development or the replacement of flowering trees and shrubs with grass and concrete. But we can change this!

The program will:

• enhance community awareness about the importance of pollinators to our food and forest ecosystems
• draw attention to the risks of habitat fragmentation and the benefits of biodiversity conservation
• partner with local groups and organisations to provide localised resources that participants can use to create pollinator habitat in yards, balconies, bush reserves and public spaces.

We’ll be launching the program at the upcoming Sustainability Futures Festival Port Stephens. We’re in the process of rehabilitating and planting two pollinator habitat reference sites on the Bridle Path with support from Port Stephens Council and the Nelson Bay West Landcare group.

We’ll be preparing fact sheets on local plants, native pollinators, small birds and their habitat needs, including DIY shelters and bee hotels, using a framework from the Friends of Tomaree National Park. And we aim to have planting guides that can be used for gardens, yards, balconies and community spaces.

Pollinators come in many shapes and sizes, like this hoverfly on a fringe lily at Stoney Ridge Reserve, and the silver-eye flitting between Gan Gan Lookout’s gymea lilies.

Hoverfly on Common Fringe Lily / Silvereye on Gymea Lily Photos © Sue Olsson

If you have an interest in native bees, pollinator and small bird habitat or local plant communities and would like to know more, please get in touch with Betsy Hussin and Sue Olsson at ecopollinators@econetworkps.org. There are a variety of ways to help and we’d welcome your involvement and support!