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This project will start on 1 Jan 2020

Plants and our Planet need Insects.
Insects worldwide appear to be under threat. There hasn't been enough science done in the past locally to quantify this apparent decline, but it is being observed, particularly in Europe and America. The widespread use of neonicotinoid pesticides is emerging as a probable cause of colony collapse in honey bees, and is likely to be affecting many other species of insects.

At a local and domestic scale, we can decide not to use these chemicals; and we can also can plant plants and provide homes for our native insects in order to give them the best chance of survival.

We will need our native pollinator insects when the population of European honeybees in Australia starts to collapse. This will happen whan the Varoa mite reaches Australia and isn't detected by bio-security.

Even if the mite doesn't get here, if we hope to retain a useful pollinator population of European honey bees and/or native bees; farmers, orchardists, horticulturalists and home gardeners need to re-examine their use of pesticides, especially the neonicotinoids. These may be marked as safe for individual humans to use, but future humans may regret the loss of bio-diversity that they appear to be causing.

There are many insect [and bird] species that can substitute for chemical controls and play a useful role in controlling insect pests in gardens, orchards and farms. But they need habitat.

Our project will continue to reserach this subject, and start collecting seed and propagating long-flowering groups of habitat plants that will feed and provide habitat for our local native insect populations.

For those with concerns about the pesticides that they are using, there is a list of brand names of neonicotinoids here:
https://www.beekeepingnaturally.com.au/the-australian-government-list-neonicotinoids/

There is more information (2017) on particular uses from the Australian Government here - but there seems to be an inclination to follow protocols developed in the USA rather than adopting the more cautious approach of the European Union.
https://apvma.gov.au/node/28786

For all things Australian Native Bee, the Aussie Bee website has ID guides, How-to guides and more.
https://www.aussiebee.com.au/index.html

Port Phillip and Westernport Landcare are doing a lot of work on both pollinator and predator insects, and there are good resources on their website.
https://www.ppwcma.vic.gov.au/what-we-do/sustainable-agriculture/beneficialinsects/