In Ireland, we have 99 bee species - one honeybee, 21 bumblebees, and 77 solitary bee species.

Contrary to popular belief, it is actually our wild bees (not honeybees) that are responsible for most pollination.

Unfortunately one-third of our 98 wild bee species are at risk of extinction. This is because we have drastically reduced the amount of food (flowers) and safe nesting sites in our landscapes.

We have reduced the availability of wildflowers on farmland, roadsides, in parks, around housing estates and apartment complexes, and in gardens, through mowing and the use of herbicides.

Bees rely solely on pollen and nectar from flowers for food, so when we ‘tidy up’ our gardens and farmland, we remove their food sources. We remove safe nesting sites by spraying pesticides.

The good news is that every garden or verge, no matter its size, can be a haven for hungry pollinators. In addition to pollinating our crops, pollinators benefit 78% of our flowering wildflowers and trees, which provide fruits and seed for birds and mammals.

In helping pollinators in our gardens, on our patios, in front of our houses, and on our verges around our estates, we are helping Irish farmers and future generations who will also rely on pollinating insects for food production and for healthy ecosystems.

Did you know a new All-Ireland Pollinator Plan was launched this year? It builds on the excellent work of the first plan. You find out more here:

If you live in a housing estate or apartment complex, can you ask the council or maintenance company to take action to support pollinators? You can encourage them with the resources below. 

Pollinator Friendly Guide for Housing Estate Management:

The Pollinator Friendly Planting Code:

Extracts from Gardening for Biodiversity by Juanita Browne.

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