Ever wondered what makes Wicklow so beautiful? What really makes the garden county bloom is our pollinating insects. Ireland has 99 different bee species: one Honeybee, 21 Bumblebees, and 77 solitary bee species. Together they pollinate our flowers hedgerows, trees, and our food crops, making an enormous contribution to our wealth, health and quality of life. Key fruit species such as apples, pears, strawberries, tomatoes and blackberries and food crops such as oilseed rape and clover would not exist without bees for pollination.
Unfortunately our bees are in trouble, since 1980, more than half of Ireland’s bee species have suffered huge declines and today one third of our 99 species are threatened with extinction. Key problems faced are lack of food, lack of shelter (habitat loss) and the use of pesticides.
The All Ireland Pollinator Plan was launched in 2015 to address these issues. Wicklow County Council and local authorities, stage agencies and partners across Ireland are all working on a targeted set of actions to create landscapes where pollinators can survive and thrive. There are small things that we all can do that will make a huge difference, these include;
- Reduce mowing
- Let dandelions and clover bloom
- Allow hedgerows to flower.
- Reduce pesticide use;
- Plant pollinator-friendly plants
The Heritage Office of Wicklow County Council together with Kildare County council and Biodiversity Ireland have teamed up with funding from the Creative Ireland programme to produce a short animated film highlighting the role of pollinators and how we can all help. Please watch, like and share to spread the word: www.wicklow.ie / County Wicklow Heritage or visit www.pollinators.ie for a series of practical guidelines tailored for Gardeners, Farmers, Councils; Local communities, Businesses and Schools .