These are very difficult times as we all come together to fight Covid-19 by staying apart.
The most important thing is to help each other and to stay at home.
Given the current situation, we have had requests for biodiversity-related ways that people can fill their time, as well as information on how they can help pollinators in their garden. For those who are fortunate enough to have a garden, you may be interested in these eight simple and free things that you can do.
1. Identify an area of your grass to cut less often to allow wildflowers to naturally grow
See our A5 pdf flyer: Click to view or download
2. Create some areas of bare soil for mining solitary bees to nest; or drill some holes in wooden fence posts for cavity-nesting solitary bees
See our pdf guideline document on creating wild bee nesting habitat: Click to view or download
3. Help pollinators by deciding not to use chemicals to kill insects or to get rid of weeds which provide vital food
4. Check what you have in flower each month from March-October, so you know when your garden’s pollinator hunger gaps are (but don’t go out to buy things just yet!)
See our flyer on pollinator-friendly garden plants: Click to view or download
See our flyer on pollinator-friendly herbs: Click to view or download
5. Grow cuttings/seeds from some of your pollinator-friendly plants so that you have even more next year!
See www.rhs.org.uk for more advice on taking cuttings
6. Help collect important data by carrying out Flower-Insect Timed Count (FIT Count)
– watch a 50cm2 patch of flowers in your garden for 10 minutes and count how many insects visit
To learn more about how to take part visit: https://pollinators.ie/record-pollinators/fit-count/
7. Learn how to identify the different wild bees visiting your garden
Free online bumblebee identification course: https://www.biodiversityireland.ie/identifying-irish-bumblebees/lesson.html
Information on solitary bees in Ireland: https://pollinators.ie/record-pollinators/solitary-bees-for-beginners/
8. Map your garden on ‘Actions for Pollinators’ to log your contribution
You can find the mapping system here. See the tutorial for instructions on how to log your garden https://pollinators.biodiversityireland.ie/