The Im­por­tance of Pol­li­nat­ing In­sects

Hills to Hawkesbury Living Magazine - - Gardening - By Nick Char­torisky

Around 65% of flow­er­ing plants de­pend on in­sects for pol­li­na­tion but when you look at our de­pen­dence on plants for food pro­duc­tion, medicines and tex­tiles, our need for pol­li­na­tors is a far greater. This makes it very im­por­tant to pro­tect and sup­port pol­li­na­tors wher­ever we can.

Plants have evolved to at­tract pol­li­na­tors. They pro­duce a food sup­ply or an in­sect at­tract­ing scent, colour or flower shape to im­prove the chances of re­pro­duc­tion. Some plants have evolved to be­come de­pen­dent on spe­cific species of in­sects. The Small Tongue Orchid (Cryp­tostylis lep­tochila) has a flower re­sem­bling parts of a fe­male Orchid Dupe Wasp (Lis­sopim­pla ex­celsa).

The im­por­tance of na­tive Pol­li­na­tors has been shown to in­crease fruit set be­tween 500% - 800% when they have lo­cal na­tive Pol­li­na­tors. With­out pol­li­nat­ing In­sects in our area we couldn’t sup­port our mar­ket gar­dens, or­chards, flow­er­ing gar­dens or na­tive bush­land as we know it. How we man­age our graz­ing an­i­mals would also dra­mat­i­cally change.

To help counter the im­pact on in­sects from habi­tat loss and chem­i­cal use, Still Creek Land­care will be at the Ar­ca­dia Pub­lic School Mar­ket Day on the 18th Novem­ber to give a work­shop on cre­at­ing your own In­sect Ho­tels.

And while you’re there, we can also help with in­for­ma­tion on Lo­cal Weeds and ad­vice on many as­pects of man­ag­ing your prop­erty. See you on the 18th Novem­ber at Ar­ca­dia Pub­lic School.

For more info visit www.still­creekland­ or Face­book or phone 9653 2056.

An Orchid Dupe Wasp with his Small Tongue Orchid (photo cour­tesy of Barry Lees)

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