So what exactly is happening with the bees?
You may have heard a lot recently about ‘Biodiversity’ and the issue of ‘Irish bees being under threat’, so what exactly does this mean and how does it relate to climate change??
Well, the variety of all biological life on Earth is commonly referred to as biodiversity. Biodiversity boosts ecosystem productivity where each species, no matter how small, all have an important role to play.
Bees are vital to bio diversity. Many of our plants and essentially food sources rely on bees as pollinators. However, one third of our bee species are threatened with extinction from Ireland. This is because we have drastically reduced the amount of food (flowers) and safe nesting sites in our landscapes. Honeybees, which are the primary species that fertilise food-producing plants have suffered dramatic declines in recent years, mostly from afflictions introduced by humans.
The introduction on toxic fertilisers, environmental pollution and environmental degradation are contributing to various diseases affection the bee population. Their abilities to navigate, learn, communicate, reproduce, and resist infections all depend on their health – and, like anyone, their health depends a good deal on the food they eat.
Humankind needs to act quickly to ensure that the ancient pact between flowers and pollinators stays intact, to safeguard our food supply and to protect our environment for generations to come. These efforts will ensure that bees continue to provide pollination and that our diets remain rich in the fruits and vegetables we now take for granted (Diana Cox-Foster and Dennis van Engelsdorp, Solving the Mystery of the Vanishing Bees, Scientific American, April 2009).
The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan has been created to encourage all of us to come together as a nation actively to create landscapes where pollinators can survive and thrive. To see how you or your community can help visit the All Ireland Pollination website.