Farmers and gardeners have been spraying their crops and flowers for years to protect them from pests.
We’re told that it has to be this way. Don’t believe it!
These pesticides harm and kill. Pollinating insects – gone. The small birds that feed on these insects – weakened, infertile. The larger birds that hunt the smaller birds (like karearea, our falcon) – birth eggs with shells so brittle, they break.
There are other ways to control our garden pests. For instance, Mrs Thrush. She eats slugs and snails. For free!
In Flight of Pollen, bees and hoverflies are important pollinators
The Krefeld Entomological Society (est. 1905) has discovered huge declines in several observation sites throughout Western Europe.
In Australia, Jack Hasenpusch, an entomologist and owner of the Australian Insect Farm which collects swarms of wild insects, says: “. . . it’s left me dumbfounded, I can’t figure out what’s going on.”
Here in NZ, we’re still visited by moths at night, still finding bugs squashed on our car windscreens, still able to lie in an apple orchard and watch the hoverflies working, still able to visit a community garden in summer to watch oodles of native bees. . .
. . .and can even find a wild honeybee nest down where the free range chooks roam (which I did last week)
from students at the Flight of Pollen / Enviroschools / Te Aho Tu Roa event at Nga Manu Nature Reserve this month:
On Tuesday 13 March, students from five Kapiti Coast schools came together for a teacher and senior student workshop.
In the morning Flight of Pollen was played in the Education Centre. This was very appropriate since both the Centre and the game have received generous support from the Philipp Family Foundation.
Then the afternoon was spent touring the grounds. Nga Manu Reserve provided an ideal setting in which to explore the concepts of pollination of our native flora and fauna. And guide Rhys (pictured) carefully grounded the game play elements (plants, pollinators, weather elements).
“Brilliant” said parents and students. “We noticed things around us that the game had in it – like pollinators.” “We identified plants.” “We learnt new things.”
Having shown they can now play the game, it has gone back to their schools, with the responsibility to teach the game to the students there. . .
“We will introduce and pollinate our school with the game,” said Kapanui students Leo, Zane and Jasmin.
Did they develop understanding of this topical local and global issue? Yes, definitely.
“We will now be more aware of what pollinators do for us.“
February was Meet-the-Providers month. Enviroschools in the Greater Wellington region invited teachers to meet with local providers of environmental resources.
Because Cloak of Protection has had huge support from Wellington Enviroschools, I attended events in the Kapiti Coast, in the Hutt Valley, and in the Wairarapa.
Many teachers were very complimentary about Cloak of Protection, and were keen to have a look at Flight of Pollen, and to learn our plans for teaching it.
Here is a table of Kakariki Game goodies, laid out in Featherston.
We’d love to see you under the Story Tree, says Tanya Batt, at Whakanewha Regional Park, for our January environmental storytelling programme.
Tanya and her cohorts were testers for Flight of Pollen. I’ve just done a quick trip back to Waiheke Island to play the finished game with her. There I was treated like a queen – even sleeping in her big red story bus!
The world of insects & other things that creep & leap; we’re going on a bug hunt; pollinator power; day wings, night sings; what’s the buzz; meet me under the story tree; creep, crawl – dance & sing
That’s the pollinator programme that will be under the story tree on Waiheke Island this January.
Here’s a message just in, from one of the Flight of Pollen pledgers.
Thank you so much for developing your beautiful game, Flight of Pollen.
I played it for the first time on the 24th November with my colleague Leanne and her husband. We had a lot of fun – though it took us a while to understand how to play! We found the videos quite helpful. Since then I’ve played it a second time with some children from Limehills School. Gosh! Kids catch on much quicker than adults! Amazing.
Thank you for the new instructions. I’ve read them and I think they are very good. We will definitely play again and I’ll let you know how it goes.
Today Leanne and I found an exhausted bumblebee on the ground outside our office. We took her inside and fed her some sugar water. We watched her drink the drops and celebrated as she gradually gained her strength, stretched her legs, groomed herself, wiggled her furry bottom, then flew out the window. Only afterwards did we realise that I had used your lovely note, delivered with the game, to rescue the little creature!
Many thanks, JiL. I think you’ve created something quite wonderful.