Clothing range bids to aid insects
An academic has created a unique clothing range specifically designed to attract pollinating insects.
Swansea Metropolitan University's Dr Karen Ingham aims to highlight the plight of creepy crawlies such as bees, butterflies and moths with her Pollinator Frocks range.
Each item of clothing is covered with floral prints enhanced by a microscope and coated with an iridescent sheen - replicating the way insects view the flowers.
The fabrics in the dresses have also been treated with substances imitating nectars such as sucrose and fructose.
Dr Ingham said: "While the dire predicament of the world's bees has been widely publicised, the situation facing other pollinating insects is not as well known. Yet, not only do insect pollinators play a vital role in food production, they are also inexorably tied to the health and biodiversity of our flora."
Pollinator Frocks has recently been tested and developed through a series of "walkabouts" in New Zealand's Pukekura Botanic Parklands as part of the art, technology and ecology event SCANZ 2011.
The project will continue during the spring and summer before a limited collection is produced for sale - with 10% of profits going to organisations trying to tackle urgent issues surrounding pollination and biodiversity.
"The excitement generated by interacting with something as beautiful and ephemeral as a butterfly rekindles our connection with the wonder of the natural world, a connection we are in danger of losing," added Dr Ingham.