Megan Halcroft: Australian Pollinator Week – Inspiring community awareness and participation

Community awareness of the importance of honey bees, for food security, has greatly increased over the past few years. However, many people are still unaware of the thousands of ‘other’ insect species that provide pollination services. These insects may help increase crop quality and yield, as honey bees do, but more importantly, they drive biodiversity. Native bees and insects have evolved with our native plants, and as such, are best adapted to perform their pollination services. By increasing public understanding of the importance of our tiny pollinators, we can help preserve and support existing insect populations. To help achieve this goal, in 2015 Australian Pollinator Week (APW) was created. The 2nd full week of November, during the Australian spring, is a time when schools, neighbours, retirement villages, garden clubs, landcare and bushcare groups can come together for APW. Not only can they learn about insect pollinators, they can actively support their natural populations. By participating in APW, and sharing our experiences, we can increase knowledge, participate in citizen science projects, create habitat, provide food resources and enhance our environment. As a group, it can be a lot of fun. Multiple resources have been developed to help inspire communities to participate. The “how to…” guides, colouring-in projects, videos and scripted presentations are available on the Australian Pollinator Week page at