Farmers urged to save wild bees from dying out
The bee population of Ireland is under threat because of the lack of wild flowers on farms, experts are warning.
Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Andrew Doyle will this week, at the National Ploughing Championships, launch guidelines for farmers to help with pollination of crops.
"People often think the honeybee is solely responsible for all pollination, but in actual fact most is carried out by wild bees," said Dr Úna FitzPatrick from the National Biodiversity Data Centre.
Unfortunately, Irish pollinators have been declining, with one third of our 97 wild bee species threatened with extinction.
Ireland has one honeybee, 20 bumblebee species and 77 solitary bees.
One of the main reasons for bee declines is hunger - there are simply not enough wild flowers in our landscapes today to provide enough food for bees.
Bees rely entirely on nectar and pollen for food, which makes them our most important insect pollinators.
A lack of safe nest sites, pesticides, and climate change also negatively impact bee survival.