We still have a lot to learn about pollination, the most important part of the life cycle of plants. How does the pollen from the male part of a plant find the female part of the plant to allow fertilisation to occur and the plant to reproduce?
There is still a lot to learn and you can help by joining the Wild Pollinator Count citizen science group on the web.
The rules are simple, just sit in front of a flower for ten minutes this week armed with your notebook and camera and record who visits that flower, and then upload your data to the website.
Australia has myriads of wild pollinator insects that are often overlooked and the specific pollinators associated with many of our native plants are not known.
We have much information on the plant preferences of the common commercial honeybees but just which other insects, birds, bats etc. do the job as well is a work in progress.
The Wild Pollinator Count gives you an opportunity to contribute to wild pollinator insect conservation in Australia.
This project, which started in 2014, gathers data from people in every state and territory twice a year, in November and April. These observations are contributing to the long-term data on plant-pollinator interactions around Australia.
We already know that included in the list of native pollinators are some 2000 native bee species, a couple of thousand butterfly, wasp, fly moth, beetle, thrips and ant species, bats including our large flying foxes and many birds.
Indeed some of our eucalypts actually flower at night for pollination by bats, mimicking that famous night-blooming cacti.
By recording the wild pollinators in your local environment you can help build the database.
Such information is becoming more and more critical as our insect populations in particular face the threat from new pesticides such as the new neonicotinoids, which in Europe markedly affect the pollinating ability of bumblebees.
Do not miss your chance to be a citizen scientist.