pollinators

Placements for Pollinators

I have had the fantastic opportunity to volunteer with the Jersey Biodiversity Centre as part of my dissertation research project this summer. Although the dry and sunny days this summer have appeared few and far between, those days where the sun made an appearance have seen me wandering around the beautiful island of Jersey to complete Flower-insect timed (FIT) counts. With the difficult year we have had, and the subsequent disturbance to my formal University education, this was the first time I was truly able to experience field work.

Don't Step on a Bee Day: 10th July 2021

In appreciation of ‘don’t step on a bee day’ we’re going to highlight bee diversity and the importance of bees. This awareness day is held annually on 10th July, which aims to educate the public and highlight the importance of bees and their contribution. When thinking about bees, the honey bee is the iconic bee species which comes to mind and the thought of bees is often followed by thoughts of nature, summer and picnics.

Wild Bees

When talking about bees there’s a species that comes to everyone’s mind, the honey bee. Not only is this only one species of the breadth of bees we have, it is also a farmed animal. Originating from Africa, honey bees are farmed all around the world. Yet we have huge diversity of wild bees that don’t get a mention when the ‘bee’ word is called. We’re going to introduce you to some of the wild bees you can spot in our island and hopefully get you out spotting them on a sunny day.

Bumblebee Diets

Bumblebees are a charismatic group of insects as they are recognised for their important ecological role in pollination of both wild and agricultural plants. Unfortunately, after the Second World War, their numbers and geographic range declined. Whilst this is likely due to a combination of possible explanations, the leading cause is currently thought to be the intensification of farming (2–4).

Successful bumblebee course 2020

On the 15th and 16th we invited India Wedge over to run a two day training course on pollinator identification. The Sponsorship for the Countryside enhancement scheme allowed the JBC to run this course at a huge discount to the attendees. Held at Jersey Zoo classroom and grounds we spent two days surveying their pollinator patches.

Creating a Pollinator Patch

As summer is drawing to a close there is still a lot we can do to support pollinators over winter. Autumn is the perfect time to start planting your pollinator patches, as the weather gets wetter the ground is ideal for the seeds.  To start your pollinator patch you need a dedicated patch of ground, whether that’s in a lawn, window box, pot or flower bed, any size will do. You can purchase a Jersey wildflower mix from Normans suitable for urban areas, gardens and schools.

The Importance of Ivy

 

The Jersey Biodiversity Centre is working with our partners at the Pollinator Project JE and Jersey Trees for Life to publicise the importance of Ivy in Jersey's environment.

Mature ivy can provide a roosting site for bats, it's autumn flowers provide an important source of food for insects at this otherwise barren time of year and later in the season it's berries are a food resource for many different species of birds.