Pollinator Project by Emma Plant

Emma Plant contacted Croftburn Allotments in 2023, but after a delay to her work, again reached out to us in March 2024 to ask if we would be interested in taking part in her Pollinator Research and would like to use Croftburn Allotments as one of her Sampling Sites for her research.

Emma will be visiting once a month from April-September to collect data from those allotments that decided to join up and would share her research with us on a Communal Day and at the end of the year.

With great anticipation (due to a rather wet cancelled Communal Day) we had the pleasure of Emma Plant talk to Members about her research and what the intended goals were for her.

Emma met with us on the 4th May 2024 and her are a few notes from her discussion:

Emma is research Pollinator Diversity across Glasgow for her PHD and asking two main questions. 1. What is influencing Pollination? and 2. Do pollinators prefer certain plants? i.e. Exotic or other.

In order to answer these questions, Emma will be recording the percentage of native and non-native plants, taking data from key data loggers which measure light and temperature, carry out management surveys and look how the age of a plot affects the number of pollinators on it. In other research it is evident that established gardens have a higher degree of pollinators than newer or landscaped gardens.

Emma with do spot counts on plants and flowers and try to record what the dominant pollinator is for our site and what plants are attracting them, as pollinators extend further than the commonly held belief that Honey Bees are the only pollinators we have. Currently there are Butterflies, Hover Flies, Bumble Bees and solitary bees as well as over 270 different species identified as pollinators. 

During her research she has counted 58 different pollinators in Glasgow and discovered two new species of Hover Fly last year (2023). Emma also spotted the Hairy Footed Flower Bee which is new to Glasgow too.

Ladybirds also featured, the local ‘7 spot’ ladybird should be protected as the more intrusive and non native Harlequin Ladybird has been steadily reducing the population of local ladybirds.

Should you be interested in assisting the bees, planting a lot of Spring flowering plants is key to helping them get a good start after a cold winter. Blossoming trees are great for bees too and Dandelions are turning out to be a friend to the early bees as well.

Should you be interesting in seeing Pollinators up close, visit the Instagram account ‘weemadbeesties’ (Click here) for Macro photos from around Glasgow of our little ‘wee beesties’. Emma is working with the photographer and will hopefully bring him along to see our site too.

Thank you to Emma for answer our questions and giving her time and we look forward to hearing all about the research as the year progresses.