Wild Pollinators

Moy Valley Bees is committed to the promotion of bio-diversity.  Simply put,  we need to protect a whole range of pollinators in the wild in addition to nurturing our honey bees.   There is only one honey bee species here in Ireland, kept mainly in managed bee hives as opposed to surviving in the wild. Unlike bumblebees, solitary bees or wasps, they overwinter as a much reduced colony and the queen is cared for throughout, so that in Spring, a honeybee colony has a larger task-force earlier in the year for the purpose of crop pollination. Crucially to crop growers, they are also 'flower faithful' and will stay foraging, and thus, pollinating, the same flower species until that resource is exhausted.  The National Biodiversity Data Centre lists a range of species from bees, to hoverfiles, stone flies, shield bugs and butterfiles, all of which are in danger.

According to Peter Gill, Parks Superintendent, Mayo County Council, who spoke in Ballina in February this year on the "Piight of our Pollinators", our pollinating insects have suffered huge declines in recent decades, with one third of our 99 bee species at risk of extinction.  Moy Valley Bees supports the All Ireland Pollinator Plan, which is a shared plan of action that aims to reverse those declines by increasing pollinator habitats across our island.  

The advent of intensive farming, with the use, until the very recent impending ban, of nicotinoid insecticides, along with the diminishing amount of hedgerows and natural habitat has had a catastrophic impact on many of these insects.  Over the course of our own lifetime we have seen a dramatic reduction in the number and variety of butterflies, caterpillars and other insects on the land and this will have major consequences for our environment and economy.  Simply put, plant life needs pollinators in order to survive and prosper.

Right now, the composition of all bees in the wild here in Ireland looks like this:-

~ information courtesy of Biodiversity Ireland

At Moy Valley Bees we aim to educate our community about the measures that can be taken to protect the whole range of wild pollinators.