On Thursday the 10th April 2014, there was a large attendance at the new Wexford Town Library for the launch of the “Let’s Bee Friendly” campaign. This is being sponsored jointly by the “Biodiversity” Volunteers attached to the Wexford Tidy Town effort and is supported by Wexford County Council as an action under the Wexford County Biodiversity Action Plan 2013-2018.
Speakers were introduced by Wexford Librarian Linda Horan. Niamh Lennon of the Planning Section explained the purpose of the exhibition, which will continue on display at the Library for the next few weeks. The principle aim of the project is to invite the wider public to support the effort to arrest the decline in recent years of the bee population. The idea is simply to ask people to plant some “bee friendly” shrubs and flowers in their gardens.
Pat Murray, the Chairman of the Wexford County branch of the Irish Farmers Association outlined the importance of the bee to the local and national economy with regard to agricultural production. He informed us that their Wexford branch had 3500 members and that the local economy has a value of €134M. The IFA is very appreciative of and fully supports the efforts of all measures to arrest bee population decline.
John Morgan of South Wexford Bee Keepers Association gave a very interesting outline of the state of affairs with regard to managing bees. John has been working with bees for over thirty years. His outline of the subject ranged from a brief description of the main types of bees and that there were 101 known bee species some years ago which have now been reduced by one third. He also covered some of the political and legal complexities attached to bee management in the modern world.
On the brighter side, he informed us that, as a consequence of the fine summer last year, the Forth Mountain honey had a lovely deep colour and excellent flavour. A “very good year”, as the wine experts might put it!
Why do we need to save the decline of the bee? Of the 100 crops that provide 90% of the world’s food supply, 71 of these crops are pollinated by bees, fascinating or what? So, no bees 71 crops disappear, a frightening thought wouldn’t you agree? So the little bee is vital to our survival and now is the time to take action. Find a quiet corner in your garden, plant a flower to feed a bee and help save the planet, we kid you not!
All are invited to visit the exhibition which includes fascinating facts about bees which are on display at Wexford Town Library. There are very colourful brochures with advice on the different plants, including daffodils, willows, heathers, rosemary, lavender etc., which are available at all local gardening stockists and which are bee friendly.
Pledge your support to the ‘Let’s Bee Friendly Campaign’ by planting at least one of the recommended pollinator friendly flowers in your garden or following some of the gardening tips to help our bees. Email your pledge to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the form on our campaign page to let everyone know how you are helping our bees. Help us save the bees and possibly the planet.
(Written by: Ambrose Madders)