How can you help pollinators in your garden?
Our bees and pollinating insects are in trouble. Did you know one third of our bee species are threatened with extinction in Ireland? This is because there has been a drastic reduction in the amount of flowers and safe nesting sites in our landscapes.
Our local school, St Olaf’s NS is tackling this challenge with the creation of a Wild Meadow Space and Bug Hotel on the school grounds. The Residents Association is delighted to sponsor this initiative and encourage you to pop into the school grounds to see the children’s work!
The good news is that you too can help to make your own garden pollinator friendly by providing food for pollinators, shelter for their nesting and ensure their safety from chemicals.
Good Flowers to grow
Not all flowers are pollinator friendly. Good choices are pollen rich flowers such as lavender, rosemary, verbena, foxglove, sweet william, poppies, delphiniums, lillies, wall flowers, heathers and wild rose. Here is a full list of Pollinator Friendly Plants for Your Garden from pollinators.ie.
Some plants that we usually think of as weeds, like clovers, ivy and dandelion provide an important source of food for pollinators. Consider keeping a small section of your garden where these plants can grow. Consider reducing the frequency of lawn mowing to create a wildflower patch just like St Olaf’s NS!
Long grass can provide shelter for bumble bees. Earth banks, bare soil, dry stone walls can also provide nesting sites.
Reduce pesticide use
You can keep pollinators safe by avoiding using pesticides and manually weeding your garden and driveway if possible.