Wild native bees are visiting the backyard pond. They land on the sturdy, floating water plants to drink. The pond has only been there for a few weeks. We wanted to create a watering hole for all the pollinators and beneficial insects, to attract and encourage them to linger here. Dee, who is new to the neighbourhood, found this pond abandoned on a local verge and passed it on to us. It was a good opportunity to reduce waste and re-use a local resource.
Still, stagnant water is also the perfect breeding environment for mosquitoes and we know their population is now likely to increase due to longer, hotter summers. Mosquitoes are known to spread many infectious diseases, such as yellow fever, dengue fever and malaria.
To break their reproductive cycle, we added goldfish to the pond. Mosquito eggs float on water and hatch to produce aquatic larvae (also called wrigglers). The larvae cannot breathe under water and ‘hang’ from the water surface to take in air. They pupate in water and are never completely immobile, changing position according to light and wind conditions. Their movement attracts the attention of hungry fish – easy, reliable mosquito population controllers.
The location for our morning cup of coffee has changed. Sitting by the pond, where the water ripples in the breeze, reflecting the sky and clouds; observing the bees landing and taking off while fish dart here and there, on the look-out for wrigglers.