A recent threat to beekeeping in the UK and Ireland has had numerous people sign a multitude of different petitions to ban imports of bees from Italy. These petitions were to go to MPs to be brought to the table for discussion, but now parliament has been dissolved us beekeepers are left in limbo waiting for the small hive beetle to appear.
It is the worst of times but also it could be the best of times… here we have an opportunity to vote for those MPs willing to fight for the bees, to promote conservation of native species and to stop the introduction of invasive non-natives like Aethina Tumida (Small hive beetle).
“The total annual cost of invasive non-native species to the British economy is estimated at approximately £1.7 billion. This is said to be a conservative figure and does not include indirect costs which could be substantially higher”
Japanese knotweed alone is said to cost the British economy an estimated £166 million per year! And with bees pollination over 70 crops the threat of the Small hive beetle is fairly serious. Stringent guidelines must be laid down for any bees being imported into the UK and Ireland, not just from Italy, as any new disease or parasite could be riding in unchallenged to cause major problems for beekeepers here.
Hopefully we can get some responses from the different political parties as to where they stand on this issue and how they propose we protect our bee populations from threat of pest and disease.
Great ideas from across the pond, unused airport real estate to keep bees! Check out the story from pri.org…
Perhaps George Best Belfast City Airport would be up for some bees on site? Or even a strategic planting of their unused land?
Watch this space?
Sir David Attenborough says that parks and reserves are not enough to protect nature and calls for using gardens and roadside verges in the conservation effort. Below are his remarks about the state of play and on the best ways in our time to provide pollinator corridors up and down the country!
Conference for Nature – Sir David Attenborough from The RSPB on Vimeo.
Exciting news from Biodiversity Ireland about the All-Ireland pollinator plan, this is something to get involved with from an individual to corporate level. Here is an excerpt from their site…
“This draft All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020 has been developed by a 15 member steering group, representative of key stakeholders. The plan provides an important framework to bring together pollinator initiatives across the island of Ireland, and is the start of a process by which we can collectively take positive steps to protect Irish pollinators and the service they provide into the future.
It is a shared plan of action. By working together we can collectively take steps to reverse pollinator losses and help restore populations to healthy levels. Over the next five years this plan aims to build a solid foundation to bring about a landscape where pollinators can flourish. Whether you own a farm, a window box, or manage a park everyone has a role to play.
The Plan proposes taking action across five areas. Within each area, targets have been set and actions have been identified to help achieve that target. A total of 21 targets and 51 actions are identified.
In all cases there is scope for new initiatives and new ideas to address each target
- Making Ireland pollinator friendly (farmland, public land & private land)
- Raising awareness of pollinators and how to protect them
- Managed pollinators – supporting beekeepers
- Making sure we’re doing the right thing
- Collecting evidence to track change and measure success
We hope that as many of you as possible will have a look at the draft plan and provide your feedback, so that when it is published later in the year it will be as constructive and positive a document for Irish pollinators as possible.
- A draft Action Plan will be prepared by the end of September 2014.
- The Action Plan will be agreed with the steering group early 2015.
- It will go out for wider consultation in January 2015
- A one-day All-Ireland Pollinator Symposium will be held in Waterford on the 17th February 2015. This meeting will introduce the plan and provide opportunity for public engagement. It is open to everyone. Book here
- The wider consultation phase will be completed in March 2015
- We expect to launch the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020 in spring-summer 2015.
Note: this is a draft version and currently reads quite technically. At this point we are focussing on the content of the plan. The published version will be designed to be more readable and will include images and info-graphics. Within the published version, scientific references will be retained, but they will be included as numbered superscripts cross referenced to the appendix rather than contained within the body of the document.”
Visit their site for more info!
Noah Wilson-Rich gives a TEDx talk in Boston about the positives of bees in the city.
Pimp the Pavement: A Brief History of Seedbombing
Its great to make seedbombs to help the spread of flowering plants into disused plots of land. There are many recipes out there, of which we are experimenting with, but this article explains the history behind the seedbomb.
Very encouraged to read the material on The co-operatives website in their stand for the native pollinators. Hopefully we can make a difference just like them!
Read for yourself on their page “What’s our plan?” and join in with what they are doing too