Glin Tidy Towns supporting National Biodiversity Week 19 – 26 May 2017.
It is a sad fact that our bees and other pollinating insects are in trouble. The good news is we can help by making our gardens and our community a haven for hungry pollinators!
One third of our bee population are threatened with extinction from Ireland. We know this because we have drastically reduced the amount of food and areas where they can nest from our landscape which provides for them. We can all take positive steps (gardeners, businesses, farmers, schools. Local Authorities), to help protect our pollinators and the service they provide into the future. Protecting pollinators helps protect the general health of our environment.
Ireland has 98 species of bees, and most pollination of crops and wild plants is carried out by bees 🐝. We have also inadvertently introduced pests and disease which negatively impact their health, and we subject them to levels of pesticides that make it difficult for them to complete their life cycles.
Here are some recommendations that we can all do very simply, to make a start in becoming pollinator friendly:
• We need to provide food in the form of pollinator friendly flowers, shelter for nesting and safety from chemicals.
• Reduce the frequency of mowing lawns, and leave a strip or corner to let dandelions, clover and daisies grow. (Dandelions provide a VITAL source of spring food for pollinators).
• Have pollinator friendly plants growing in your garden from March to October.
• Buy pollinator friendly plants for your window boxes, baskets and tubs. Did you know that some traditional plants like geraniums, begonias, Busy Lizzie and petunias have no pollen and nectar and are of little value to pollinators! Always ask the garden centre to guide you when purchasing plants.
• Plant pollinator friendly bulbs to flower next Spring. Daffodils and tulips are not the best for pollinators. Add some snowdrop, allium, Crocus, grape hyacinth etc to the mix.
• Create nesting sites for solitary mining bees. Clear a patch of grass in a sunny corner spot in your garden back to bare earth. The bees will burrow into the soil.
• Buy or make a solitary bee hotel for your garden.
• Do not use herbicide on your lawn or green areas or verges around your house.
• Where possible dig your weeds manually instead of spraying.
• Protect hedgerows, dry stone walls, and earth banks.
• Do not spray edging or bases of trees.
This is just a very small synopsis of what we can do to help. Please refer to The National Biodiversity Ireland pollinator plan website for more information. This is a wonderful website and you can also register with the Pollinator Plan to record your progress in mapping, identifying and recording.
Glin Tidy Towns is actively supporting National Biodiversity in being aware and creating mindfulness in how we care for our environment, our flora and fauna and of course our wildlife. We will post regular updates of information going forward, all in the name of informing about, and protecting the future of our environment.
Photo1 : Area of roadside hard shoulder in Killaney Glin, which has been managed sympathetically to accommodate Biodiversity.
Photo 2. Area at Glin Pier dedicated to Biodiversity.
◦ Photo 3. Strip of ditch in Glin Town Park dedicated to Biodiversity.
Photo 4. Signs purchased by Glin Development & Tidy Towns to highlight assigned Biodiversity areas in Glin.