Pollinator project : April 2018 - June 2018
The Pollinator Project is a celebration of Ireland’s wonderful pollinating insects including our busy bees. Unfortunately they have had a very hard time lately and this project aims to give them a helping hand. The workshop is a mix of an indoor talk, interactive demonstrations and outdoor exploration; we will show students how bees make honey with our beehive and beekeeping equipment, discuss the importance of pollination and if the weather suits we will go outside and explore the school grounds in search of the different types of Irish bee. As with all our workshops, it's about taking action too! Students will take steps to make their schools more bee-friendly through planting some nectar and pollen-rich flowers.
Ireland is home to 98 species of bee (honey, bumble and solitary) but worryingly more than half of these have undergone substantial declines in their numbers since the 1980s. Research published in 2006 found that over 30% of Irish species are threatened with extinction, with some already having become extinct. The cause for such concern is not just about honey production, as only one species produces commercially extractable honey, but because of the ecological value of bees. They are often referred to as pollinators; a group of insects who perform the critical process of transferring pollen from one flower to another, ultimately completing the lifecycle of the flower and giving rise to the food we eat. The importance of such insects to our food system is astonishing; 71 of the top 100 world food crops are dependent on pollination, a service worth €153 billion per year.
Junior All-Ireland Pollinator Plan (2015-2020)
All-Ireland Pollinator Plan (2015-2020)
The State of Ireland’s Bees (2006)
United Nations Environment Programme (2010)
A huge thank you to the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and the County Councils across Ireland who have funded the Pollinator Project since 2012, including: Wexford, Kilkenny, Carlow, Westmeath, Monaghan, Cavan and Longford. Also, many thanks to the Trinity Centre for Biodiversity Research and Professor Jane Stout for scientific advice.