Pollinators in February
Which pollinators are active this month? What plants are they visiting? And what can you do to help them? Here’s everything you need to know about pollinators in February.
Which pollinators can I spot in February?
On the island of Ireland, 20% of our wild bees are bumblebees, and 80% are solitary bees. We also have 180 hoverflies. In February, some are starting to emerge from hibernation. Here are four species you might spot this month:
Buff-tailed bumblebee (Ciaran Taylor)
White-tailed bumblebee (Steven Falk)
Marmalade hoverfly (Steven Falk)
Red-tailed bumblebee (Steven Falk)
If you spot any of these species, submit your sightings to the National Biodiversity Data Centre. You can attach a photo if you’re not sure if your identification is correct.
Which native plants are growing in February?
Native plants provide the best source of food for our pollinators as they have evolved together. Keep an eye out for some of these early-blooming species. They’re an important nectar source in the early months of the year.
Red dead-nettle (Zoe Devlin)
Blackthorn (Ruth Wilson)
Submit your sightings to the National Biodiversity Data Centre. You can attach a photo if you’re not sure if you have the correct identification.
Whilst native plants are best, non-native (‘ornamental’) plants like Snowdrops, Crocuses, and Grape Hyacinth can help provide a source of nectar in the right places. Keep these plants to pots, gardens and parks and don’t let them escape into natural or semi-natural areas.
How can I help pollinators in February?
The best thing you can do for pollinators this month is make a plan. Pollinators are in decline on the island of Ireland mainly because they don’t have enough food or shelter. Get ready by thinking about how you can help protect and enhance the habitats they need over the coming year.
1. Brush up on bumblebees
20% of our wild bees are bumblebees. They’re probably the first pollinators you will see as they emerge from hibernation. Learn how to identify the most common Irish bumblebees with our free online course:
2. Plant native trees or hedgerows
Help feed hungry pollinators. Plant local provenance, native flowering trees & hedgerows before the end of February
3. Choose the right actions for pollinators
Browse our website to find simple, evidence-based advice on how you can help pollinators in your garden, school, farm or business.
- Top Ten Actions for Pollinators
- All-Ireland Pollinator Plan resources
4. Make a plan for pollinators
Make a list of habitats in your outdoor space that are already good for pollinators, e.g. native wildflowers, trees & hedgerows. Prioritise protecting them. Then decide what other actions you could take over the coming year.
Find out more
- Course: How to Identify and Record Common Irish Bumblebees
- Top Ten Ways to Help Pollinators
- Resources page
- Who are Our Pollinators?