Eighty-nine percent of plant species depend on, or at least benefit from, the services provided by pollinators. However, like so much of the biodiversity on this planet, pollinators have been found to be in decline, largely as a consequence of land clearing, the use of agricultural chemicals and climate change. This is not new – Rachel Carson wrote about the decline of pollinators in Silent Spring in 1962.The International Pollinator Initiative was set up after the 1992 Rio ‘Earth Summit’ to monitor pollinator decline and promote pollinator conservation, among other activities. The aim of this blog is to communicate with other scientists and naturalists on this subject, to share information and to raise awareness of threats to the ecosystem services provided by pollinators. Whilst this blog focuses on plant-pollinator interactions in natural systems, with a non-exclusive bias towards Australia, where I live and work (I am a pollination ecologist at the University of New England in Armidale, Australia), I am interested in all aspects of ecology and natural history and I will, at times, digress from the pollination theme 🙂

David Mackay.

…but sticking to the pollination theme for now, here is a short video of one of my favourite bees, Blue-banded bees, Amegilla asserta, buzz-pollinating tomato plants in our garden. Video by Professor C.L. Gross.

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