Kilkenny to launch countywide plan to save the Bumblebee

Published by Laura Matjusaityte on

July 19th, 2018

Kilkenny is set to take the lead in adopting new measures to protect a declining population of Bumblebees and other pollinators.

Kilkenny County Council has agreed to adopt the National Pollinator Plan together with the Kilkenny Plan of Action to support the development of pollinator-friendly locations around the county.

The proposal for the initiative came from the Green Party environmental spokesperson and Kilkenny councillor, Malcolm Noonan.

Mr Noonan said that “putting power back into the hands of communities” will be the stepping stone in saving our pollinators and environment, however, he admitted the real work has only just begun.

“I am hopeful that other counties will take up this initiative. Local Authorities are best placed to lead pollinator plans within their own communities,” he said.

“The scale of biodiversity loss globally over past forty years has been frightening, and the recently adopted Heritage Bill will add further to the loss of species in Ireland.”

Bumble Bee covered with Pollen Photo: Smudge 9000

Bumble Bee covered with Pollen Photo: Smudge 9000

Kilkenny Plan of Action

The measures in the plan include mapping and signing the areas that already support pollinators and will work to develop more pollinator-friendly areas around the county.

In order to ensure that bees flourish for years ahead and support food production and a healthy environment, the local authority will be obliged to provide sustainable habitats for pollinators.

The Garden Bumblebee has also been chosen as the ambassador of Kilkenny in a bid to spread awareness of the importance of bees and efforts to protect them.

The council will work with the National Biodiversity Data Centre (NBDC) and the Kilkenny Heritage Forum in order to make Kilkenny more bee-friendly.

The Latest data from the NBDC shows that Bumblebees population recorded in 2017 were at their lowest levels since the start of monitoring six years ago.

The Bumblebee monitoring scheme marks year-to-year loses in the period from 2012 to 2017, with a decline of almost 15 per cent of all populations observed during this period.

Six out of 21 Bumblebee species living in Ireland are threatened with extinction, with species such as the Great Yellow Bumblebee now only seen in the northwest and the Shrill Carder only in isolated populations in the west.

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Laura Matjusaityte

Laura is a first-year journalism student at DIT. She has an interest in the environment, veganism and literature.