Australia has lots of wild insect pollinators that are often overlooked. European honey bees get a lot of attention because they are an adaptable, generalist forager, which means they are happy to visit almost any flower, in most climate zones. They are also a social species, so their hives are easy to domesticate and manage. However, many native insects also contribute to pollination in crops and gardens all around the country. We still need to do a lot of research to identify all our insect pollinator species, understand their ecology and how they are affected by human activities. So far, we know that Australia has around 2,000 native bee species, all of which are important pollinators. We also know there are a couple of thousand butterfly, wasp, fly, moth, beetle, thrips and ant species, some of which are documented pollinators. Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of information on the ecology of many of these insects, what flowers they pollinate, or where they are found.
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