Pollinator Workshop

3 Dec 2022

Presented by University of Otago Zoology, Botany, and ecology students and staff

Location: Otago Museum, Hutton Theatre (inside and outside)

Time: 10am – 3pm

The Entomological Society of New Zealand is launching its first annual “Bug of the Year” competition, and choosing a winner among this year’s 24 nominees is going to be a challenge. To help you decide before you vote, the Tūhura Otago Museum and the University of Otago Zoology, Ecology & Botany Departments are teaming up to host insect-themed events this summer – the first one is the Pollinator Workshop!

In the Pollinator Workshop we introduce Aotearoa to the wonderful diversity of our local insect pollinators (as well as a few non-insect pollinators). We will begin conversations on how the insects, spiders, and other “bugs” that make up well over HALF of Aotearoa’s animal diversity (many of them are found nowhere else on planet earth!) keep our birds and fish fed, our crops and flowers pollinated, our soils aerated, our waste decomposed and our backyard buzzing.

Games: You can try your identification skills with our ‘Is it a Bee?’ game, try out our butterfly matching and memory games, or take away one of a variety of pollinator-themed activity sheets.

Education: We will have microscopes set up so you can view pollen and flower parts up close. We will have insect collections and possibly a few live insects to observe too. At each of the stations, we’ll be able to answer questions and often will have additional material that you can take away with you.

Start Your Own Bee-Friendly Garden: We will have stations for you to make your own seed-bombs (filled with pollinator friendly wildflowers) and to start your own little herb garden (bees LOVE flowering herbs).

The seed bomb and herb garden stations will be set up OUTSIDE of Hutton Theatre. Please make sure to visit these stations after you finish visiting the museum, as you won’t be permitted to go back inside with these materials.

Additional Incentive (“Insective”?): At each of the stations, you can earn a “stamp” on a passport. Once you receive a stamp from at least 5 of the stations, you’ll be eligible for a prize.

2023 Bug of the Year voting opens 14 Nov 2022 – but don’t rush to make your choices! Voting closes 13 Feb 2023, so there is plenty of time to take advantage of the different events being hosted throughout the summer and learn more about this year’s nominees. Check out our website, follow us on Twitter (@NZEntoSoc; #BugOfTheYear2023), and get outside and start exploring the wonderful weird, beautifully elegant, and creepy crawly BUGS OF AOTEAROA!

The Pollinator Workshop Team