Help improve our knowledge on bumblebees
- Many thanks for your casual bumblebee records – please keep them coming. So far this year we’ve had over 100 records and 6 species have been spotted around the country (Bombus terrestris, lucorum, pratorum, pascuorum, jonellus and hortorum). We’ve added a field to the online recording form so that you can also tell us what flower the bumblebee was foraging on – if you know and want to submit this information (it is optional). Over time it will help us better understand the most important food sources for bees in the landscape. You can submit sightings here http://records.biodiversityireland.ie/ using the bumblebee form.
- The Bumblebee Monitoring Scheme is always looking for new volunteers. If you have an hour to spare once a month to carry out a fixed route 1-2km walk and record bumblebees please get in touch. You can find more details here: http://www.biodiversityireland.ie/record-biodiversity/surveys/bumblebee-monitoring-scheme/
Keep an eye out for spring solitary bees
Solitary bees can be difficult to identify, but there are two easily recognisable species that should be emerging from hibernation very soon. Both are common and very important pollinators. Please submit your sightings if you see these species http://records.biodiversityireland.ie/ using the solitary bee form. If you want to email photographs for validation beforehand you can send those to me directly.
- Andrena cineraria (Grey mining bee) is a black solitary bee that has two distinctive grey bands of hair on its thorax. You can often see it around willow http://species.biodiversityireland.ie/profile.php?taxonId=55600&keyword=Bees
- Andrena haemorrhoa (Early mining bee) is not quite so obvious but should still be recognisable. Look out for the females which have a ginger thorax and red hairs at the tip of the abdomen http://species.biodiversityireland.ie/profile.php?taxonId=55647&taxonName=andrena%20hae&keyword=Bees
All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020 http://www.biodiversityireland.ie/pollinator-plan
Things are going well behind the scenes with the Pollinator Plan. Some progress updates:
- We are currently focussing on preparing guidelines on how different sectors can help implement the Plan. You can see the list of what is planned on the website and the first of those should be due out late next month.
- We are delighted that the Heritage and Biodiversity Officers have come together to sponsor a pollinator award in this year’s Tidy Towns competition. It will hopefully make a big difference in raising the profile at local levels.
- Huge thanks to Pól Mac Cana who has very generously translated the text of the Junior All-Ireland Pollinator Plan into Irish. We hope to get an Irish language version designed and made available over the next 4-6 weeks.
Thanks for your ongoing support of the Irish Pollinator Initiative. Fingers crossed for a good year for our bees and hoverflies.