Bee here now

Angrily slapping away a spring blowfly my ten year old son says something like, “What’s the point of insects anyway?”

I glance at him and he extrapolates; the only reason insects exist is to annoy, bite, sting or creep him out and that humans should just outlaw them.

I point out that apples, of which he eats at least six a day, wouldn’t exist without bees, beetles, flies, wasps, butterflies, ants, thrips and moths to pollinate them.

And that in their place, people, with tiny paint brushes, would have pollinate every blossom by hand – turning his beloved and abundant apples into a very expensive once a week treat.

My son does a quick apple/insect cost-benefit analysis and says no more about his plans for a bug-free world.

I decide I don’t need to tell him humans have already been carrying out a pesticide, deforestation, climate change driven insectageddon over the past seventy years.

I also don’t tell him that these days when I ride through a thick cloud of midges on the Merri Creek, I feel an equal mix of anxiety and hope.

For the past three decades at CERES, educators and thousands of school children have been monitoring our catchment’s health by counting the number and variety of aquatic species in countless buckets of creek water.

This November, CERES, with our friends Wild Pollinator Count, is taking this concept out to our community with the Backyard Bee Census.

The Backyard Bee Census is a simple 10 minute count of all the insect pollinators you can see visiting a chosen tree/bush/plant in your backyard, street or park.

Wild Pollinator Count have been running the Backyard Bee Census for the past 5 years aiming to create a picture of what and how these under-researched wild insect pollinators are doing across the country.

The Census also connects people and pollinators and raises awareness of the role they play in our ecology and our food systems.

So far over 10,000 households have signed up to become citizen scientists next weekend.

If you’re keen to join in click here and we’ll send you all the information.

You never know what you’ll see – maybe a beautiful Blue Banded or metallic Green Carpenter Bee.

Have a great week,

Chris

Customer-decorated boxes at CERES Fair Food
Customer-decorated boxes at CERES Fair Food
Customer-decorated boxes at CERES Fair Food

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