Building a Buzz for Beneficial Bugs (BABFBB) is a State NRM funded project involving the promotion of beneficial insect biodiversity as an alternative to pesticide usage in Horticulture. We have two demonstration sites in the Midwest Horticultural Region showcasing specific insect-attracting flowering plants sown adjacent to horticulture cash crops.
This year’s sites are starting to bloom with marigolds, alyssum, cornflower, buckwheat and pink and white everlastings. These insect-attracting flowering plants were chosen specifically to attract beneficial insects such as hoverflies, ladybugs, parasitic wasps, bees, lacewings, butterflies and spiders. These insects are effective in controlling pests such as aphids without using chemicals.
Check out this gorgeous marigold inside a cucumber-growing tunnel.
Anna will be monitoring and replacing sticky insect traps to collect data on the presence of beneficial bugs over the next 2 months. The insects will be identified with help from DPIRD entomologists.
If you’re keen to come check out our demonstration sites and learn about identifying beneficial and pest insects then you’re in luck! On the 24th August, NACC NRM will be hosting a field walk and workshop event. Starting from the Lotteries House, bus transport will take us to Sun City Produce in Walkaway to check out the flowering plants inside the growing tunnels.
Then we will head to Chally Bridge Farm in Isseka to check out the insect-attracting flowers among other flower and vegetable crops. During the field walks, Prof Geoff Gurr from Charles Sturt University will be discussing his research on beneficial insects and flowering plants in horticulture systems and answering questions. We will also have Ian Pulbrook from Green Oil Nursery showing off and discussing the benefits of vegetation windbreaks. After this we will bus to Chapman Valley Fishing Park for an insect identification workshop with DPIRD. The day will be finished off with refreshments and a tour of the Fishing Park’s aquaponics and greenhouse.
This is a free event with bus transport, lunch and refreshments provided.
This project is supported by funding from the Western Australian Government’s State NRM Program.