Bees need wildflowers on farms, the Teagasc National Crops and Cultivation Open Day in Oak Park, Carlow, has been told.
Teagasc countryside management specialist Catherine Keena said pollinators, especially bees, are important, but unfortunately are in decline.
“We need more wildflowers in the countryside. Bees need food all year round, requiring a diversity of flowering plants in the landscape.
“Farmers can help bees by allowing space for wildflowers to grow and flower within hedgerows and field margins, around farmyards, along farm roadways and in field corners.
“The quest for neatness on farms should not override consideration for bees,” she told the open day where a new leaflet ‘How Farmers can help Bees’ was launched.
Federation of Irish Beekeepers’ Association president Gerry Ryan said it is important for tillage farmers growing crops to provide pollinators with wildflowers outside the main crop flowering period.
Dr Úna Fitzpatrick, chairperson of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan Steering Group, said Ireland has 98 different species of bees and one third of them are threatened with extinction.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved