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.
There’s a reason why only one side of this plum tree has given fruit!
It’s a grafted tree. One side flowered first, the rain came, and the flowers were washed out. The other side flowered a day later, the sun came, the pollinators visited, and voila, months later, we’re all eating the large juicy plums.