3. BEES AREN’T ALONE IN PRO­VID­ING THE CRU­CIAL TRANS­FER OF POLLEN BE­TWEEN PLANTS

The Invercargill Eye - - CONVERSATIONS -

Other pol­li­na­tors in­clude...

• Wind: Pollen can be blown through the air for fairly long dis­tances but it’s down to luck whether it reaches an­other plant. Wind-pol­li­nated flow­ers usu­ally have lit­tle scent and no nec­tar, and are on tall stalks that are eas­ily shaken. Na­tive ex­am­ples in­clude rimu, toe­toe and kauri.

• Flies, but­ter­flies and moths: In­sects like plants that are white, pink or green with lots of nec­tar and a strong scent. Small, open flow­ers in clus­ters make it eas­ier for them to reach the nec­tar, and mass-plant­ing in groups means they don’t have too far to travel. They like ko­rokio ( Corokia co­toneaster), astelia and karaka.

• Birds: Few birds have a sense of smell, so flow­ers don’t need to be strongly scented. Birds do, how­ever, look for lots of nec­tar and are at­tracted to large, brightly coloured blooms. They can fly long dis­tances, so you only need a sin­gle spec­i­men in your gar­den. Try kowhai or harakeke (flax).

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Lo­cal bees need all the help they can get.

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