Celebrating the importance of pollinators

    13 November 2021

    Australian Pollinator Week starts today, raising awareness of the vital importance of pollinators for agriculture and the environment.

    Chief Executive Officer of CropLife Australia, the national peak industry organisation for the plant science sector, Mr Matthew Cossey, said, “Most people don’t realise that Australia has a vast array of pollinators including birds, butterflies, bats, beetles, and reptiles. Even those pesky flies interrupting your weekend barbeque are crucial to pollination in our country. It’s essential to remember the wide breadth of pollinators that we’re fortunate to have in Australia and recognise their important contribution to biodiversity and our environment more broadly.”

    Mr Cossey, continued, “Of course, the introduced European honeybee is also crucial for pollinating a range of specific crops and we’re fortunate that Australia is home to one of the healthiest populations of European honey bees in the world. Farmers rely on them as pollinators for many of Australia’s food crops which is why it’s essential we all assist to keep their populations flourishing.

    “CropLife Australia’s Pollinator Protection Initiative is an award‑winning and globally recognised example of what the Australian plant science and agriculture industry is doing to play its part to assist farmers use of necessary crop protection products responsibly and in a manner that minimises risk to pollinators.”

    CropLife’s Pollinator Protection Initiative includes BeeConnected, a smart-phone app to help ensure the safety of bees during normal farming practices and The Seed Treatment Stewardship Strategy, a best management practice guide on the handling and planting of treated seed.

    Mr Cossey continued, “BeeConnected is just one example of the plant science industry’s commitment to protecting the significant role of Australia’s pollinators. The app connects farmers to nearby beekeepers allowing both parties to communicate about farming practices in relation to hives to ensure apiarists bees remain healthy.

    “Our Seed Treatment Stewardship Strategy, developed by Australian industry experts, outlines measures to reduce potential risks from the dust generated during handling and planting of seed and gives guidance to minimise unintended movement of pest and disease management products.

    “Australian Pollinator Week is a great way to raise awareness about pollinators and also check in with agricultural and home gardening practices to ensure we’re not inadvertently harming bees and our other important native pollinators.”

    Mr Cossey concluded, “CropLife and our members are deeply committed to providing the latest stewardship information and techniques to farmers, environmental land managers and beekeepers alike, to protect Australia’s pollinators.”

    Find out more about CropLife’s Pollinator Protection Initiative at stewardshipfirst.com.au