Sunday 18 November 2018

Three simple things you can leave out for birds and bees during the heatwave

Flowers are producing less nectar during the heatwave
Flowers are producing less nectar during the heatwave
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

Bee and bird conservationists are urging householders to be mindful of our wildlife population during the heatwave.

The Irish Wildlife Trust advises that tired and grounded bees can be revived during the heatwave with a simple food solution left in a shallow tray.

A simple mix of sugar and water (in a 2:1 ratio) will give a hungry bee a boost.

Kieran Flood, Conservation Officer at the Irish Wildlife Trust says bees need plain water as well as food.

“Particularly honey bees, because they use it as part of making their honey. Put out a very shallow film of water in a saucer or tray, and if you put little pebbles in the water such that the water level is just below the top of the pebbles. Then it means that the bees can land on the pebble and drink the water beneath.”

“Bees can’t swim. If you leave a basin of water out, it won’t work, so you have to have water and a landing pad for them to land on.”

Meanwhile, Niall Hatch, spokesperson for BirdWatch Ireland said halved apples and grated cheese are brilliant foods for birds.

“We’re urging people to put out water for birds, a basin for birds, so preferably it’ll have a shallow end and a deep end for smaller and larger birds. Birds need to drink but they need to bathe to keep cool and to keep their feathers in good condition as well.”

“For food, an apple cut in half is good for birds. A halved apple stuck onto a branch works very well."

Mr Hatch added: "Birds eat worms for food but worms don’t come out of the soil when it’s so dry. So grated cheese is great because it looks like worms but it’s also full of protein so it’s good for them as well."

"Leave the cheese on the grass or tucked under a hedge or on a bird table, that works really well.”

The National Biodiversity Data Centre is currently working on its All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020, to address pollinator decline and protect pollination services. For more information, see biodiversityireland.ie.

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