Great Georgia Pollinator Census
The Great Georgia Pollinator Census (GGPC) is coming up soon. GGPC is a new event aimed at bringing awareness to pollinators and collecting real world data on the impact that they have. This a brand new event that has never been done before. Let’s talk about the pollinators, and talk about GGPC and how you can participate.
Pollinators have come into the public’s awareness a lot more in recent years. Often times when people think of pollinators honeybees come mind. Honeybees are certainly very important pollinators, but there are also other pollinators that are needed as well. A lot of our native bees are better pollinators than honeybees are, but honeybees get the edge because of their quantity. Honeybees are important pollinators, but I’d like to talk a little about some native pollinators because they are often under appreciated.
Native bees are usually solitary insects, meaning they don’t operate in a colony with other bees. These native bees range from tiny bees in the Perdita genus to large carpenter bees. These native pollinators are very important for the pollination of many native plants. Native bees most efficiently pollinate crops like pumpkin, squash, blueberry, eggplant, and tomato. Building a nest for native bees is pretty simple and you can find the instructions at extension.uga.edu and searching for ‘publication 1125’. Generally, bees will have furry bodies that can be used for trapping pollen. You may observe a bumblebee traveling from flower to flower completely covered in pollen. Native bees are generally very docile and are unlikely to attack people. Native bees will often make homes in the ground and holes in trees left by other insects.
The Great Georgia Pollinator Census will be taking place on August 23-24. The idea is to have people all over Georgia out counting the number of pollinators that they see over a 15-minute period on a single plant. We’ll also be taking note of the different types of pollinators that you see. We’ll be on the lookout for carpenter bees, bumblebees, honeybees, small bees, wasps, flies, butterflies/moths, and other insects. You don’t need to be a master beekeeper or entomologist to participate in the count. On the 23rd at 10:30, I’ll be at Hamilton Gardens at Lake Chatuge to talk some about the importance of pollinators and how to identify the different types of insects that we’ll be looking for. After talking, we’ll go out into the pollinator gardens there and start counting. If you can’t make it to Hamilton Gardens on the 23rd don’t despair! You can still participate in the census on your own at any time on the 23rd and 24th of August. After completing your count, you can go online and upload your data. The website https://ggapc.org/ has more information about the pollinator census. I am looking forward to this event and hope that you decide to come and join us.
If you’d like to know more about the pollinator census contact you county Extension Office or send me an email at Jacob.Williams@uga.edu.