We want to help encourage all farmers to provide small wildlife habitats for pollinators and biodiversity, in terms of food, safety, and shelter, on their farms. The overarching aim of the Protecting Farmland Pollinators Project is to enable all farms across Ireland to be more pollinator and biodiversity friendly. In taking action to protect pollinators, we start a chain reaction that has positive benefits for the general health of our environment, and the wellbeing of future generations.
The whole-farm pollinator scoring system helps farmers to understand how pollinator friendly their farm is and what simple low-cost actions they can take to work towards improving their score in a way that does not negatively impact on productivity.
Aspects of the Project are subject to change in response to participant feedback and project monitoring.
Why do farmers need pollinators?
Pollinators are important to farmers who grow insect pollinated crops, fruits and vegetables; to our economy; to marketing our produce abroad; and to the health of our environment. But farmland has experienced wide-scale loss of wild pollinators over the last fifty years. In Ireland, one third of our 99 bee species are threatened with extinction.
Blog: Protecting Farmland Pollinators – A Farmer’s Perspective
Action Sheet – How to create solitary bee nest sites on your farm
Introduction to the Protecting Farmland Pollinators EIP https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cORImcbOQ3E
Farmer Interviews https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_LY4LyDrVk
Shot farmer clips https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khl9Z3gBss8&t=2s
Blog: Farmers working together to help biodiversity
2021 Annual Report Protecting Farmland Pollinators
The annual report for the Protecting Farmland Pollinators European Innovation Partnership Project is available for download Protecting Farmland Pollinators Annual Report January 2021
Protecting Farmland Pollinators is a European Innovation Partnership (EIP) funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine (DAFM) under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. The project is coordinated by the National Biodiversity Data Centre.
NOTES FOR THE EDITOR FACTS:
- We have 100 wild Bee species in Ireland. 30% are threatened with extinction.
- Over 60% of Ireland’s bees are mining bees. These bees need access to bare soil in order to dig their nests.
- Declines in wildflowers are subjecting our pollinators to starvation.
- Our tendency to ‘tidy up’ the landscape rather than allowing wildflowers to grow along roadsides, field margins, and in gardens is playing a big part in reducing resources for bees.
Criteria for farmers
Before you score your farm, you must create nesting habitat for mining and cavity nesting solitary bees.
Of the 100 wild bee species in Ireland, 78 are solitary bees. Solitary bees prefer to live alone (hence their name) instead of in the big colonies associated with honey and bumblebees. Solitary bees are harmless and not aggressive, and are excellent pollinators. They nest in two main ways; mining bees burrow into the ground, while cavity nesting bees use existing holes in hollow stems, wood or stone walls.
Over 60% of Ireland’s bees are mining bees. These bees need access to bare soil in order to dig their nests. Areas of bare soil can range from large to small. Depending on the size of the area it will need to be maintained at least once a year. Simply clear any vegetation that has grown by manually scraping back the area to bare soil. It is best to this in late autumn to avoid disturbing any nesting bees
Suitable nesting sites are a known limiting factor for some of our wild bees and therefore it has been decided through expert consultation that, eight separate locations of bare soil and three bee boxes or equivalent must be created per 35 hectares of farmland.
The Protecting Farmland Pollinators Project runs events and training on how to support pollinators and biodiversity on farmland.
July Farm Walk
August Farm Walk
Farmer Training 20:00-21:00 Wednesday the 15th September Whole Farm Pollinator Scorecard Refresher
June Farm Walk
Farmer Training: 21st May 2022 Top five pollinators on farmland and how to identify them.
Farmer Training: 21st April 2022 Top ten plants on farmland and how to identify them.
Farmer Training: 21st March 2022 Engaging with Citizen Science at the National Biodiversity Data Centre
Farmer Training: 21st February 2022 Solitary Bee Nesting
Wednesday 28th April 2021 Farmer Training: How to accurately fill in the Whole Farm Pollinator scorecard.
Wednesday 3rd March 2021 Farmer Training: Hedgerows and Hay meadows.
Project Launch, March 2nd 2020.
Resources for farmers
The first Action Sheet – How to create solitary bee nest sites on your farm is available to download here.
The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan has developed a whole suite of resources for farmers to help them make their farmland more pollinator friendly.
Dr Saorla Kavanagh is the Project Manager of the Protecting Farmland Pollinators Project with the National Biodiversity Data Centre.
Tel: +35351306240 M: +353861407889 Email: email@example.com
Dr Úna Fitzpatrick is a Senior Ecologist with the National Biodiversity Data Centre and Project Coordinator and Steering Group Chair for the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan and the Protecting Farmland Pollinator EIP.
M: 086-045 6113 Tel.: +353-51-306240 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
All-Ireland Pollinator plan website: www.pollinators.ie