A new initiative aimed at saving Ireland’s bees has been announced by the Kilkenny based Heritage Council.
The Council is linking up with Bord Bia and the Department of Agriculture to support the implementation of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020.
The plan, launched in September 2015 by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, makes Ireland one of the first countries in Europe with a strategy to address pollinator decline and protect pollination services.
Research from the National Biodiversity Research Centre indicates that a third of Ireland’s bee species are threatened with extinction. Bees play an important role as “free” pollinators for farmers and gardeners.
Padraig Brennan from Bord Bia said "Bord Bia fully supports the Pollinator Plan and will work with the National Biodiversity Data Centre and The Heritage Council to ensure its success.
“ It is a critical step in improving the biodiversity value of Ireland’s landscape and is a perfect fit for Bord Bia`s Origin Green sustainability programme which enables the food and drink industry to deliver measurable improvements in their sustainability performance and thereby further enhance the reputation of Ireland as a high quality, sustainable food producer”.
The Plan identifies actions that can be taken on farmland, public land and private land.
These include creating pollinator highways along our transport routes, making our public parks pollinator friendly and encouraging the public to see their gardens as potential pit-stops for our busy bees.
It is also about raising awareness on pollinators and how to protect them.
Michael Starrett, Chief Executive of the Heritage Council, said the plan is very important.
“ However, without a full time administrator to make this vital work happen, the Plan will not be able to deliver. We are delighted to be able to work with our partners to move this Plan forward and save our bees.”
· One third of our 98 bee species are threatened with extinction in Ireland
· The annual value of pollinators for human food crops has been estimated at €53 million in the Republic of Ireland.
· Declines in wildflowers are subjecting our pollinators to starvation.
· Our tendency to tidy up the landscape rather than allowing wildflowers to grow along roadsides, field margins, and in parks and gardens is playing a big part in reducing these resources.