Border people invited to join Wild Pollinator Count on April 12-19, 2020

Here's your chance to get down for the count this week to help build a national insect database.

The Wild Pollinator Count started on Sunday and runs until April 19.

An entomology enthusiast and naturalist Karen Retra said people could count wild pollinators in their yards to help build a database on wild pollinator activity.

"The idea is to add to the knowledge about where insects are and on which plants right across Australia," she said.

"There are tens of thousands of species of insects and there are lots of details we don't know about them.

"We need help to build that picture."

Now in its sixth year, the Wild Pollinator Count runs in April and November, giving people the chance to contribute to wild pollinator insect conservation.

Australia has about 2000 native bee species, all of which are pollinators.

There are a couple of thousand butterfly, wasp, fly, moth, beetle, thrips and ant species, some of which are pollinators.

Make a beeline for the back yard to help build a national database

Make a beeline for the back yard to help build a national database

Ms Retra, from Albury on the NSW-Vic border, said people simply had to watch one flowering plant for 10 minutes and record their observations.

"It can be any flowering plant; a native or something introduced, flowering food crops or even brassicas that are bolting," Ms Retra said.

"For kids, 10 minutes is a long time but it's doable and it builds their curiosity."

Ms Retra said people didn't need to be insect experts or have fancy gear.

She said the Wild Pollinator Count tally sheet grouped insects into broad categories: bees, beetles, butterflies or moths, flies, wasps or other.

"There will be plenty of native bees about in Albury," she said.

"Yesterday I saw the most number and diversity of butterflies I've ever seen in my Albury garden; there were six to eight species.

"There will be a few beetles and wasps; not all wasps are aggressive and some of them are important pollinators.

"You will see flies, some of them are important pollinators like hoverflies, which are also good pest controllers."

Ms Retra said most insect pollinators didn't like poor weather: "It's a bit of a fair-weather sport."

"But if you do the count for 10 minutes and don't record anything, that's still interesting data for us."

Observations can be submitted via Share your pictures on social media using the #OzPollinators hashtag.

This story Make a beeline for the backyard to help build a national database first appeared on The Border Mail.