With World Bee day just around the corner, the Irish Bee Conservation Project, writes about the importance of bees!
One third of the food we eat and the drinks we consume requires pollination to exist, and bees are a key species in this regard.
There are over 20,000 distinct bee species throughout the world, but there has been a severe decline in these numbers in recent years, brought about by many factors, including habitat loss, a decline in wildflowers, pests and disease, agricultural chemicals, and climate change.
Did you know...
Ireland is home to 97 native bee species active as pollinators from early Spring until Autumn each year (March to August).
Hive numbers have decreased by over 30% in the last decade or so in Europe
More than half of Ireland’s bee species have undergone substantial declines in their numbers in recent decades.
3 species have become extinct, while 6 species are considered critically endangered
10 species are endangered, and a further 14 species are considered vulnerable.
Pollinators contribute €53 million annually to the Irish economy
Further information is available on our website https://www.ibcp.ie/ .
World Bee Day GIVEAWAY
Here are 6 actions to help raise awareness and support our declining bee species;
1. Sow wildflower seeds
Wildflower seeds can provide a plentiful supply of nectar and pollen even if sown in a window box or patio pot. You could even send a World Bee Day Seed Pocket to family or friends, with the inclusion of native wildflower seeds and some vital information about Irish bee species.
2. No Mow May
Less mowing means more food for pollinators and more time for you to enjoy the new life in your garden.
3. Share information on social media
Help others know the importance of our bee species and encourage them to make small changes that will contribute to the conservation of our native bees.
4. Take a photo of a pollinator or wildflower
Share a photo from your garden or the countryside on social media to show you are bee aware.
5. Create a safe nesting place for bees
15 of our solitary bees are cavity-nesting bees and use holes such as bamboo shoots or holes drilled into wood to nest. Create a safe nesting place with a Blooming Native Bee House or Bee and Insect Hotel in a south-facing position.
6. Do an insect count
Choose a 50cm x 50cm bee-friendly area. On a sunny day, watch this area for about 10 minutes and record the number and different insects you observe. Submit your results to the National Biodiversity Data Centre.
Don't forget to tag us, to be in with a chance of winning!