Dear bee recorders,
I hope it’s OK to get in touch in the hope that some of you might be able to help. A huge part of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is to track whether or not it’s working. We’ll track progress with the 81 actions themselves. We’ll also use our new mapping system ‘Actions for Pollinators’ https://pollinators.biodiversityireland.ie/ to track what food, shelter and safety is being created around the island. Don’t forget to let us know if you are helping!
Most important of all is to track changes in the pollinators themselves. Bumblebees will be through the All-Ireland Bumblebee Monitoring Scheme which is already going strong and will hopefully continue to grow in the coming years http://www.biodiversityireland.ie/record-biodiversity/surveys/bumblebee-monitoring-scheme/
In 2017, we launched a small survey to also monitor some of our solitary bees that nest in groups or aggregations. This will be particularly useful as some of them are amongst our most important pollinators. There are four main species that most lend themselves to this.
- Andrena cineraria (Grey mining bee)
- Andrena fulva (Tawny mining bee)
- Halictus rubicundus
- Osmia rufa (Red Mason bee)
You can find out more on the website at http://www.biodiversityireland.ie/projects/irish-pollinator-initiative/get-involved/solitary-bee-monitoring-scheme/ or by having a look at last year’s newsletter http://www.biodiversityireland.ie/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/Solitary-bee-monitoring_Newsletter-2017.pdf
If you know of a nesting area near you for one of these species and would like to help we would be very grateful. We would just ask that once a year you count the number of active nest holes/mines and submit the information to the Data Centre. It should not be time consuming and would result in extremely valuable data. We know that a nesting area will often contain more than more species so don’t worry if that is the case.
We are entirely dependent on our recorders generosity in getting involved to be able to do this kind of monitoring. Huge thanks to those people who are already taking part. If you would like to help in 2018 please get in touch to let me know.
Dr Úna FitzPatrick
Project coordinator: All-Ireland Pollinator Plan
National Biodiversity Data Centre
For more information visit the National Biodiversity Data Centre