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Pollinator Paths set up flourishing future for bees

Pollinator Paths set up flourishing future for bees

Bees will be supported all year-round, thanks to a new movement to transform public spaces into flourishing habitats for vital pollinators.

September’s Bee Aware Month campaign highlighted the honey bee’s critically important role in New Zealand’s biodiversity and economy.

Although Bee Aware Month may be drawing to a close a group of enthusiastic gardeners will help ensure all pollinators are looked after well into the future.

pollinatorpathsPollinator Paths is a new movement that aims to connect Auckland's parks and reserves together to make pollination pathways.
These pathways will help bring crucial pollinators into urban areas to enable the growing urban food network thrive.

The first path is being created in Grey Lynn and everyone is invited to join the opening party on Saturday, October 1.

Daniel Paul, the CEO of Apiculture NZ, which ran Bee Aware Month, says this is a great project for Auckland, and ApiNZ and Bee Aware Month were thrilled to support it.

“The opening party comes at a perfect time; even though September and Bee Aware Month is over this will remind New Zealanders that we don’t need to stop helping the bees.”

Organiser Andrea Reid says people should come along with their gummies, gloves and a spade, if you have them, to help make Hakanoa Reserve the best spot in Auckland for pollinators to go to.

There will be live music, activities for children, plenty to learn and do and snacks for those who have helped.

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Reid came up with the Pollinator Paths concept in 2014.

She says we are lucky enough to live in one of the greenest countries in the world.

“What we need now is the right kind of green, the kind of green that feeds and shelters our birds, bees and lesser known pollinating insects.”

The Pollinator Park Party kicks off at 12.30pm until 3pm at the Hakanoa Reserve, 36 Sackville St, Grey Lynn, Auckland.

Teams will be shown how to create special ‘apartments’ using masonry bricks.

“Materials like sticks, stones, straw, moss, pine-cones, ceramic pipe, clay, sand, wood and cut bamboo may seem like junk to us, but they make for five-star accommodation in the pollinator world.”

Residents of the park include bees; from regular honey bees to quirky leafcutter bees that cut and carry little pieces of leaf to make nests, as well as birds, lizards and butterflies.

It contains carefully selected native and non-native foliage, chosen by the critters themselves.

New Zealand’s bee populations support about one-third of everything we eat through their pollination, and contribute around $5 billion to the economy annually.

However, Reid says we can’t forget about other important pollinators out there.

“Bees often get all of the credit for being pollinating powerhouses, meaning that others get overlooked. Any animal or insect with the ability to spread pollen from flower to flower is in fact a pollinator.”

Waitemata Local Board is funding the October 1 event and supports including bee friendly considerations in the development of parks and open spaces.


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