What’s all the buzz about?
We all know pollination is important right? But HOW important? Well Ms Gilpin pointed out that approximately 80% of all plant species on earth need pollination in order to reproduce. And as if this wasn’t enough to highlight the importance, she then went on to state that 75% of our food crops require pollination, and the global annual economic value of insect pollination was estimated to be Є153 billion during 2005 (i.e. 9.5% of the total economic value of world agricultural output).
In regards to bees CCD- Colony Collapse Disorder is happening globally, and there has been an astounding 59% of colony loss in USA and 25% in Europe between 1947 and 2005. Much of this loss is attributable to an ectoparasite Varroa destructor from Asia, which can destroy an entire hive in one night. Australia is the only continent that doesn’t have it- yet.
But all is not lost, while domesticated European honeybees are used for large-scale crop pollination in the agricultural sector, and there are rogue populations of this species around, you can encourage native bees to your own yard or property by building them a place to nest. Holes in hardwood make great homes for resin bees (Chalicodoma), holes just need to be 4mm to 9mm wide and at least 80mm deep, and bundles of bamboo canes can provide nest sites for resin bees (Chalicodoma) and leaf cutter bees (Megachile), but ensure that you fix a roof to offer protection from the rain.