What can you do to help our Bees ?
OK First the Doom & Gloom...
Lets get it over with and then hit the positive notes.
We have 97 registered species of native Bees in Ireland.
Currently 1/3rd of all these are in danger of Extinction !.
Unfortunately the decline in Bee populations is accelerating.
The reasons for the alarming decline are complex, but they are generally associated with agricultural intensification, the associated losses of floral diversity, and the use of Fungicides Herbicides and Pesticides.
There are also interconnected threats from the spread of new diseases and pathogens.
Now at last a bit of Positivity !
Well there is lots that can be done you will be glad to hear, and Boy do they need all the help they can get !.
To help our Native Bees and make an immediate impact, one could stop using such chemical sprays in Gardens and to lobby State Bodies to stop using them in Parks and Public Green spaces, and where possible reducing their use in Agriculture would make a huge difference.
As will planting suitable forage for our Native Bees.
Ideally the way to get most " Bang for your Buck " to make a difference, is to plant flowering shrubs or trees (more flowers on these than on most annual bedding flowers), to provide Pollen and Nectar.
The most crucial times for our Bees are early Spring or late Summer / Autumn, when there is not much else around in the way of flowers, after the Summer bounty.
In Summer generally they can access a wide selection of flowering plants, especially in urban locations such as suburban gardens and green public spaces.
So the following is a list of suggested plants for you that are of great benefit to our native pollinators. The list is by no means exhaustive (I will build on it over the coming months to provide more information)
Planting these will make a difference, and make you feel good !
Prunus subhirtella 'Autumnalis: 'Winter Flowering Cherry"
Arbutus unedo"Strawberry Tree"
Corylus avellana "Hazel"
Coronilla Glauca Citrina
Mahonia "Oregon Grape""Charity","Apollo", "Buckland"
Lonicera fragrantissima "Winter-flowering honeysuckle"
Sarrocca Confusa" Sweet Box "
Erica sp. Late Winter flowering Heathers.
Primula vulgaris"Native Primrose"
Eranthis hyemalis, Winter aconite,
Goat Willow Salix caprea ( Is dioecious, as in male and female catkins are borne on different plants .Male catkins producing copious amounts of Pollen and some nectar and female catkins producing nectar only ).
Prunus sp. Flowering Cherry ( Single Flowered ).
Acer pseudoplatanus Sycamore
Aesculus hippocastanum. Horse Chestnut
Cratageus monogyna Hawthorn
Coronilla Glauca Citrina
Gallanthus sp. Snowdrop
Wild White Clover ( Not cultivated variety )
Lime Tree Tilia cordata
Echium pinanana (Not an annual, normally triennial or biennial)
Ivy - Hedera sp
Autumn Flowering Heathers.
2018 Work in Progress - More to follow soon.