|1. Keep an eye out for Winter Bumblebees|
The normal lifecycle of most Irish bumblebees ends when the workers and males die off and the newly mated queens hibernate through the cold Winter months. However, in recent years, the Buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) has been seen foraging during winter months in both Ireland and Britain. It is not known for certain what exactly is causing this. You can help improve our understanding by letting us know if you spot winter-active bumblebees. Photo: Eddie Hill
Please submit any sightings to the National Biodiversity Data Centre: https://records.biodiversityireland.ie/record/bumblebees
|2. To do this month: Plant a bare root apple tree|
From November to March is a good time to plant bare root apple trees. Their spring blossoms provide food for pollinators, who in return ensure that you get a healthy crop of fruit in autumn. You can add a single tree (as in the photo below) or create a mini orchard. Where possible, it’s good to try to source Irish heritage apple trees https://irishseedsavers.ie
|3. New flyer – community orchards|
We are delighted to release a new free resource: a flyer celebrating the importance of orchards to pollinators. It suggests how to best manage your orchard in each season, and what pollinators you might be lucky enough to spot on the blossoms in spring!
Read more and download the flyer: https://pollinators.ie/orchards-for-pollinators-a-new-free-flyer/
|4. All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2021-2025 – making positive progress|
Annual reporting is a very important part of the AIPP and is carried out across all our networks of partners and supporters. The core annual review is that of the Plan itself, and the 186 actions agreed for 2021-2025. Responsibility for delivery of these actions is shared out between the supporting partner organisations. Thanks to all of our partners for providing their annual updates. We have made a strong start to the second phase and are seeing very positive engagement and real commitment from all our partners. Of the 186 actions in the Plan, 87% were completed for 2022 or are currently in train. Huge thanks to all the partner organisations for making this progress possible!
|5. Council Partners Annual Review 2022|
Almost all Councils have now partnered with the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan. This report shows the incredible work carried out by each, to support the Plan in 2022. Every Council is different, as reflected in the differing focus and the very wide range of actions reported. What is very clear is that Councils have embraced the Plan and are changing the way our landscape is managed for the better. For each existing Council Partner, the point of contact was requested to provide up to five short bullet point updates on their activities in 2022. The photo shows an uncut meadow in Scariff Riverside Park in Co Clare.
Read more and download the review: https://pollinators.ie/council-partners-2022-annual-review/
|6. Business Supporters Annual Review 2022|
The Business Supporters network continues to grow. Ninety-three new companies have joined in the past 12-months. In joining, they commit to taking evidence-based actions for pollinators and reporting on their activities. This brought the total number of business supporters to well over 400. However, as of 2021, annual reporting for Businesses is mandatory. To maintain the integrity of this network, those who did not submit an update of their activities in support of the Plan in 2022 have been removed from the supporters list (they can re-engage at any point). The adjustment is reflected in the overall figure for AIPP Business Supporters, which now stands at 340. These companies are all taking genuine actions for biodiversity – we encourage you to read about the fantastic work they have each carried out in 2022. The map shows the location of businesses who have mapped their actions on Actions for Pollinators: https://pollinators.biodiversityireland.ie/
Read more and download the review: https://pollinators.ie/2022-business-supporters-annual-review-published/
|7. New blog – how far do pollinators travel?|
Read the latest blog from Ruth Wilson, the farmland pollinator officer, on how far pollinators fly. The photo below shows the Marmalade Hoverfly, which is migratory.
Read more here: https://pollinators.ie/how-far-do-pollinators-travel/
|8. Irish scientists contributing to pollinator research in 2022|
In Ireland, we have a very active Irish Pollinator Research Network, with researchers across the Universities helping to expand knowledge on pollinators and pollination ecology. Their work contributes to the global knowledge base, but importantly it underpins the AIPP, and ensures that we provide the right evidence-based advice
See the list of scientific papers published by Irish researchers in 2022 here: https://pollinators.ie/research/publications/
|9. Ideas for communities – garden plant exchange|
You might remember that last spring, Mary Molloy in Harold’s Cross (Dublin), found the first Hairy-footed Flower Bee in Ireland https://biodiversityireland.ie/hairy-footed-flower-bee-spotted-in-ireland-for-the-first-time/ This is an early spring species, very dependent on plants like Lungwort. In Britain, it is often found in gardens. A local group in Harold’s Cross (HXgrow) recently held a winter plant exchange where neighbours could share seedlings and divisions from their gardens, supplemented by some plants provided by Dublin City Council. They concentrated on plants like Lungwort, Vinca and Hellebores that will flower early in 2023. Their hope is that the Hairy-footed Flower Bee will be back next spring and when they emerge there will be plenty of food ready and waiting for them, like a good breakfast after the winter! The photo shows neighbours Joan Moore and Tricia Boyle.
You don’t need to have a new bee in your midst! Garden plant exchanges at any time of year are a free and sustainable way to help pollinators.
|10. Thanks to the team and the funders|
Thanks to the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan officers within the National Biodiversity Data Centre for their excellent work in supporting the activities of the Plan in 2022: Kate Chandler the communities and engagement officer, Ruth Wilson the farmland officer and Sarah Kelly the agri-business officer. We particularly thank the funders, without whom, it would be impossible to have these three posts: The National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Bord Bia & Business for Biodiversity Ireland.
Huge thanks to the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan Steering Group for engaging with the Plan so constructively and for continually providing such a positive steer of the initiative: https://pollinators.ie/about/aipp-steering-group/
Implementation of the Plan is coordinated by the National Biodiversity Data Centre
|11. THANK YOU for your support|
The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is a shared plan of action. It is about all of us coming together to try to create an island where pollinators can survive and thrive. The easy part is identifying what we need to do, the hard part is making it happen on the ground. The success of the Plan is entirely due to your support, goodwill and enthusiasm. We extend our enormous thanks to everyone who has taken actions and engaged with the Plan this year. We look forward to lots more progress and new initiatives in 2023.
Wishing you a Happy and Healthy Christmas and New Year.
Dr Úna FitzPatrick
AIPP Project Manager
National Biodiversity Data Centre