The Cherry on Top? Flies as Alternative Crop Pollinators
Caroline Ponsonby, The Cherry on Top? Flies as Alternative Crop Pollinators
Winner –Western Sydney University VYT local competition (2021)
Everyone loves the bumble bees and the honey bees. They’re essential farm livestock – call them key workers if you like! They play a critical role in our farm to fork supply chain. Pollinator dependent crops make up more than 50% of global food products traded today, and without them there’d be far fewer fruit and veg available. But they are not our only key pollinators.
Hoverflies are excellent pollinators too. They’re ubiquitous and they
don’t sting. We are researching how to produce them commercially.
Thereby ensuring we can keep on supplying good quality fruit for years
to come. We’re taking steps towards understanding how to use them in
different pollination systems. And even how they fit in with the bigger
picture, conserving wildlife on farms. We’re not trying to replace the
bees. But we must reduce our reliance on just one or two species of bee
to meet our ever-demanding pollination requirements. This is the future
of farming, using alternative technologies to increase yields and reduce