Today the 20th of May is World Bee Day! This day originated when Slovenia proposed that the United Nations (UN) proclaim 20 May as World Bee Day. On 20 December 2017, following three years of efforts at the international level, the UN Member States unanimously approved Slovenia’s proposal, thus proclaiming 20 May as World Bee Day.
The purpose of the www.worldbeeday.org website is to present the initiative and its implementation, raise awareness of the importance of bees and beekeeping, inform the public of major beekeeping events around the world and celebrate World Bee Day.
No life without bees
In addition to being one of the major pollinators, thus ensuring food and food security, sustainable agriculture and biodiversity, bees significantly contribute to the mitigation of climate change and environmental conservation. In the long-term, the protection of bees and the beekeeping sector can help reduce poverty and hunger, as well as preserve a healthy environment and biodiversity. Scientific studies have proven that bees have become increasingly endangered. It is only through joint efforts that we can ensure the protection of bees and their habitats.
This information came from World Bee Day and if you want to learn more about World Bee Day visit their website
Bee Wise Nature Trail
Here in the Boyne Valley we are lucky to have the fantastic Bee Wise Nature Trail in Kilmessan, County Meath. The Bee Wise garden comprises of five acres of young woodland planted with a variety of bee loving trees and a large variety of flowering and fruiting hedgerows planted to encourage a diversity of wildlife interspersed with areas of wild flowers to attract bees, butterflies and insects.
The aim of Bee Wise is to give people the chance to experience the wonder of nature close up. We demonstrate that by doing something small it can bring wildlife into your garden and make a difference to the eco-system around us.
Bee Wise aim to educate children and adults in the importance of biodiversity and to notice the wildlife all around us. The Bee Wise experience educates young and old through hands on learning in practical workshops, through nature walks and through interactive play.
The Bee Wise Garden and Nature Trail are now open at the weekends but prebooking is essential.
Another of our members Lannleire Honey is owned by award winning honey producer Eoghan Mac Giolla Coda based in Dunleer County Louth. Eoghan has previously been awarded first prize at the London Honey Show- the most coveted prize in honey making. Lannleire Honey is used by Chefs in some of the best restaurants throughout Ireland.
Tips and Tricks to Make Your Garden more Bee Friendly
Bees provide us with an invaluable service by pollinating the plants we grow but unfortunately our bees and other pollinating insects are in trouble. The good news is that we can all help by making our gardens more pollinator friendly. Every garden, no matter its size, can be a haven for hungry pollinators! Here are a few helpful tips we have put together to make your garden more pollinator friendly!
One of the simplest ways to attract bees to visit your garden is by growing flowers rich in pollen and nectar which is very straight forward in the summer months. It is also important to try to have some year round flowering plants.
Another very achievable way to make your garden more pollinator friendly is to leave a patch of it wild, allowing common wildflowers such as dandelions, clover, buttercups and primroses to grow. If this doesn’t appeal to you then you could consider cutting your lawn less often or transforming sections of it into a wildflower-rich meadow by sowing seeds of yellow rattle into it in early autumn. This wonderful little wildflower naturally robs fertility from over-vigorous species of grasses, allowing lots of daintier, pollinator-friendly wild grasses and flowers to thrive in their place.
It is also a good idea to stop or at least limit the use of garden chemicals. Especially avoid those containing what are known as neonicotinoids or neonics, a common ingredient in many over-the-counter insecticidal sprays as well as in some pre-treated seed. Similarly, avoid using weedkillers and fungicidal sprays. None of these are good for pollinating insects, or indeed, for humans.
Most of us realise the importance of flowers for pollinators but trees are also of huge importance as the flowers of many common garden trees are abundant sources of food for pollinating insects. Trees such as the native hawthorn, hazel, alder, rowan, crab apple, willow, horse chestnut, ornamental cherry and most fruit trees. The flowers of many common garden shrubs such as berberis, forsythia, potentilla, lavender, rosemary, mahonia, viburnum and cotoneaster are also excellent sources of food.Helping tire bees is also an easy task to undertake, if you find a bee at an apparent standstill particularly in winter or miserable weather help them recover by giving them a little drink of sugar mixed with warm water. Just leave it beside the bee and they should be able to reach it and recover. Hopefully you will be able to use some of these tips and tricks in your garden to help our pollinators.