GroNative South East Queensland

By: Michael Fox GroNative App

What Pollinator Link® garden style do you want to create?

  • Tropical/Balinese
  • Cottage Garden
  • Native Rainforest
  • Birds and Butterflies
  • Kids Garden
  • Native Meadow

Download GroNative App (South East Queensland) to:

  • Explore Garden Styles – what do you want to create?
  • Restore biodiversity for your postcode
  • Choose plants by growth form: Herb, Small Shrub, Climber, Fern, Large Tree
  • Choose plants by biodiversity benefits: Seed-eating birds, Bees, Butterflies
  • Many other options

Create your “My Plants List”: choose trees, grasses, ferns, vines to suit the Pollinator Link® garden you want to create.





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Young life lost on motorway on-ramp

Mount Gravatt Environment Group

By: Michael Fox

Koala 2 - Nathan onramp - 3 July 2017 Healthy young male Koala

“Let me know if I can help lobbying for Koala fencing or wildlife bridges. It breaks my heart to see the good work we have been doing undone so quickly.” Matt

I had just collected a healthy young male Koala dead beside the Mains Road on-ramp to the Pacific Motorway. Fox Gully Bushcare neighbour Miranda had emailed to let me know she had seen a Koala beside to road as she drove to work.

Sadly this young Koala was dead when I arrived so all I could do was collect him and call the RSPCA  Animal Ambulance: 1300 ANIMAL

Map - Koala - young male hit by car 3 July 2017 Koala dead beside on-ramp

Matt’s frustration reflects the number of Koala that have been killed trying to cross the Motorway from Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. Limited wildlife fencing around the Griffith Bus Station and no fence at all on one side of the Mains…

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Birds and Bees love Golden Penda

Stingless Bee on Golden Penda - 30 My 2017

Stinglees Bee on Golden Penda

By: Michael Fox

Golden Penda Xanthostemon chrysanthus grows naturally in coastal rainforest in north Queensland from Townsville to Cape York. However, it is also happy growing in Brisbane although the spectacular flowering we have had this year is usual. The birds and bees are making the best of this unusual seasonal flowering.


Honey Bee on Golden Penda - 30 May 2017

European Honey Bee

I noticed a cloud of native Stingless Bees Tetragonula sp. today, around the neighbour’s Golden Penda. These tiny bees are smaller than a house fly so if you watch carefully you can see them sneak right into the centre of a flower to collect nectar. You will also see the pollen collected and stored on their back legs.

European Honey Bees Apis mellifera also love Golden Penda however they have trouble getting right in where the Stingless Bees go for nectar.

Rainbow Lorikeets Trichoglossus haematodus were making a racket while they also feasted on the nectar.

Rainbow Lorikeet on Golden Penda - 30 May 2017

Rainbow Lorikeet feeding on nectar

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The Blue Banded Bee – The Farmer’s Friend

My Wild Australia

I was really excited to discover some of these attractive looking bees on a cassia shrub near the house recently. I walked past it one day and I could hear an intermittent buzzing sound. On closer inspection, I found these incredible blue banded bees among the blooms.

It’s a very striking looking insect, you’d definitely notice it, with its iridescent blue stripes across its black abdomen and being 12mm in size.

Since I had never seen one of these bees before (except for other people’s photos), I did some research on the internet and came up with some interesting information about them.

The blue banded bee, amegilla cingulata, is a native bee to Australia. It is found everywhere in the country with the exception of Northern Territory and Tasmania.

The blue banded bee is a solitary bee, and they are not aggressive although they can sting.

It’s also easy…

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Meeting Costa at Millen Farm

Mike & Costa - 10 May 2017

Meeting Costa at Millen Farm

By: Michael Fox

I visited Millen Farm at Samford yesterday for their International Compost Awareness Week event.

It was a real pleasure to listen as Costa, from Gardening Australia, shared his passion for everything from plants to people. Costa talk helped me understand how this community project really can show how we can create a sustainable urban farming system. Costa painted an inspiring word picture of small under utilised private and public places in our cities being recreated as productive food sources. Costa also highlighted the contribution, Millen Farm’s focus on training young people, is making to our future food security: Learn, Grow, Feast.

Eric Love ICAW - 10 May 2017

Eric Love, CORE Chairman

Costa was at Millen Farm in his role as Ambassador for International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW).

“Down to earth” inspiration also came from Eric Love, Chairman of not-for-profit Centre for Organic Research & Education Inc. (CORE). Eric spoke passionately about keeping our food and garden waste out of land fill and using this underappreciated resource in creative new ways to not only grow food but also clean our urban storm water runoff before it enters our rivers and bays. What is really powerful is discovering that this environmentally focused not-for-profit has translated research into products with an international market: Stormwater Treatment And Reuse – STAR Water Solutions.

Costa on compost pile - 10 May 2017

Costa the Composter ICAW Ambassador

ICAW Ambassador “Costa the Composter” understands that earth is the foundation for productive communities, farms, gardens, even innovative businesses like STAR Water Solutions.

In his own style Costa showed us how to get in touch with the important things by jumping up on a trailer load of beautiful rich compost.


Samford Eco-Corridor

I also met Peter Storer a passionate driving force behind the Samford Eco-Corridor project is focused on improving the area around the river at Samford Parklands. A long-­term project that involves clearing the area of invasive weeds, replanting with indigenous species, and creating a natural corridor that enhances the ecosystem, protects the river and provides a natural area for the benefit of people as well as wildlife.

Peter explained how the project has expanded to focus on researching local flora and fauna then applying that research in working with land owners along the waterways to recreate the original plant species diversity for the area.

Bob the Bee Man - 10 May 2017 collage

Bob The Bee Man demonstrating honey extraction for Stinglees Bee hives

Following the theme of passion and innovation, Bob The Bee Man demonstrated his hive design for Stingless Native Bees Tetragonula sp. that allows for easy honey extraction. Patented separators allow for simpler access, a panel of spikes is used to open the honey cells ready for loading into the centrifuge for extraction with a cordless drill. A classic story of Aussie innovation. Bob is running a Collecting stingless bee honey workshop at Millen Farm on May 28.

Debbie Needham - Zinnias - 10 May 2017

Debbie – Woggoon 


I also learnt about edible flowers from Debbie of Woggoon Farm who grows and sells Zinnias and Nasturtiums with petals that can be used in everything from icecream to wedding cakes.




Common Spotted Ladybird - Harmonia conformis - Larvae - 10 May 2017

Larvae of Common Spotted Ladybird 

Debbie is passionate about growing and selling her flowers, however, I think she would grow them just to feed her native bees if necessary.

Debbie also showed me a larvae of a
Common Spotted Ladybird Harmonia conformisLadybirds are valuable pest controllers in your garden eating Aphids, Mealy Bugs and other garden terrorists.




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Pollinator Link Display – Paten Park Native Nursery

By: Michael Fox

Pollinator Link display - 7 Feb 2017

Pollinator Link Display

I know Backyard Bee Homes are valuable Shelter for our native bees, however, I was still amazed to a prospective tenant checking out the accommodation before I even finished up setting up the Pollinator Link Display.

Pollinator Link gardens provide Water, Food and Shelter for our urban wildlife. Creating wildlife corridors and bringing a little bit of bush into backyards, balcony gardens and school grounds.

The Pollinator Link displays are available for community nurseries, events like bushcare days and Green Heart Fair or talks for kindergartens and schools.

Email: to book display.

New tenant inspecting Bee Home - 7 Feb 2017

Prospective tenant for Bee Home

Different Bee Home designs support different solitary bee species.

  • Female Leaf Cutter and Resin bees Megachile sp. use hollows build a nest which they fill with pollen ready for when their eggs hatch in spring.
  • Blue Banded and Teddy Bear bees Amegilla sp. nest in the ground or earth banks.

Paul Ryan, Paten Park Nursery Manager tells me that a number of the holes were occupied within three hours.

Breakfast Enoggera CreekBee part of the solution.

Make a Bee Home to provide Shelter for the native bees visiting your garden.

Install a bird bath to provide Water and talk to Paul at Paten Park about plants that will provide Food for wildlife: Seed, Fruit, Nectar, Pollen plants for birds and a diversity of plants to support a range of butterflies.


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Are you ready to be a Pollinator Link Hero?

Pollinator Link Hero shirt

I want to be a Pollinator Link Hero

By: Michael Fox

To achieve our target of 30,000 Brisbane gardens by 2022 we are recruiting Pollinator Link® Heros to help.

Are you saying:

“I already have water, food and shelter in my garden for wildlife. So I don’t need to register as a Pollinator Link garden.”

You are already taking action. That is great … congratulations. However, we need your help to engage the wider community.

The core strategy is to build Pollinator Link® into a strong brand with high awareness that has marketing value for industry players like plant wholesalers, landscape architects and property developers.

Industry groups like Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) are already focused on the marketing value of proven sustainability with consumer focused projects like the EnviroDevelopment Consumer Guide.

EnviroDevelopment is a scientifically based assessment scheme that independently reviews development projects and awards certification to those that achieve outstanding performance across six sustainability elements – Ecosystem, Waste, Energy, Materials, Water and Community.” UDIA EnviroDeveloment Consumer Guide

EnvioDevelopmentThe Ecosystems element objectives align with the aims of the Pollinator Link® project: bringing a bit of bush to our backyards.

  • Extensive green spaces for conservation and recreation.
  • Landscaping in public areas that is tolerant to local conditions – meaning public areas and streetscapes that can look good year round.
  • Opportunities to observe native animals.
  • Locally native plants throughout your streets and parks.
  • Opportunities to interact with nature, providing benefits to your wellbeing.
  • Local waterways with good water quality that support a range of plant and animal species.
  • Reduced air, noise and light pollution.
  • Improved marketability of your home.

Building Pollinator Link® into a strong brand that has marketing value to property developers will increase our ability to influence provision of wildlife corridors, local plant species, water for wildlife and nest boxes in green spaces and parks.

How can you help?


You already have a water, food and shelter in your garden so the next step is to register your Pollinator Link® garden and display your fence sign.

Then become a Pollinator Link® Hero

Sign up another ten gardens and/or join the promotion team giving talks to schools, kindergartens or community groups. When you become a Hero you will receive your own quality polo shirt with our Blue-banded Bee mascot embroidered on the chest.

Email for more information. 

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