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 July.


Which pollinators can I spot in July?

Pellucid Fly (Iain Hill)

(Volucella pellucens)

Northern Colletes (Michael Bell)

(Colletes floralis)

Great Yellow Bumblebee (Steven Falk)

(Bombus distinguendus)

Cinnabar Moth (K Murphy)

(Tyria jacobaeae)

Patchwork leafcutter bee 

(Megachile centuncularis)

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 July?

Native plants provide the best source of food for our pollinators as they have evolved together. Keep an eye out for some of these species in July. 

Spear Thistle (Zoë Devlin)

(Cirsium vulgare)

Wild Carrot (Zoë Devlin)

(Daucus carota)

Bramble (Zoë Devlin)

(Rubus fructicosus)

Ragwort (Zoë Devlin)

(Jacobaea vulgaris)

Selfheal (Zoë Devlin)

(Prunella vulgaris)

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.

A warning about wildflower seed mixes: Wildflower seed mixes can do more harm than good to biodiversity. They often result in colourful displays that are attractive to humans but are of little value to pollinators. Many contain non-native species and can inadvertently introduce invasive species. Please avoid using them where possible. The best way to encourage native wildflowers is by reducing mowing. 


How can I help pollinators in July?


1. Take part in Help Them Fly July

Mowing less from April until September is one of the best ways you can help pollinators. Mowing less – and removing grass clippings when you do mow – reduces the fertility of the soil, allowing native wildflowers to grow naturally. Put the lawnmower away for Help Them Fly July, and see what pops up in your lawn.

Find out more here:


2. Learn about rare pollinators

Some pollinators on the island of Ireland are particularly rare or endangered, like the Northern Colletes. Colletes floralis is a ground-nesting solitary bee that is restricted to flower-rich coastal habitats such as dunes and machair. It is facing severe decline in Northern Europe, with Ireland currently holding up to 90% of the remaining populations of the bee in the Atlantic zone. Under-grazing, agricultural intensification and development has resulted in reduction and fragmentation of its habitat.

In Ireland, it is almost exclusively coastal and found around the entire coast apart from a gap in the northeast between White Park Bay, Co Antrim and Baltray, Co Louth. The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan works with partners to publish evidence-based guideline documents on protecting some of our most endangered pollinators. Find out more about Northern Colletes here:


3. Take action for rare pollinators

Rare pollinators, like the Great Yellow Bumblebee, need extra help to survive and thrive. The Great Yellow Bumblebee (Bombus distinguendus) is in decline across Europe, with populations falling by more than 30% over the past 10 years. With the large-scale replacement of hay meadows by silage, the flower-rich areas this bee needs have largely disappeared from the Irish landscape. It is now found only on the west coast, primarily on floral-rich coastal grasslands, such as machair. 

It’s especially important that we take steps to help rare pollinators by providing food, shelter, and safety from chemicals. The Great Yellow Bumblebee generally nests underground using warm, sheltered areas with small mammal burrows, typically in tussocky grasslands and vegetated sand dunes. Its foraging habitat is extensive flower-rich grassland, including plants such as Red Clover, Bird’s-foot trefoil, and White Clover.

If you have the Great Yellow Bumblebee in your area, find out how to help it with our dedicated guidelines:


Great Yellow Bumblebee (Steven Falk)


4. Help pollinators in your sports club

With approximately 15,000 clubs across the island of Ireland, sports clubs can play a vital role in conservation of our biodiversity if managed in a pollinator-friendly way. Introducing pollinator-friendly management across sports clubs would create an entire network of safe places for bees and other insects across the landscape. The positive impact this could have would be enormous.

Why not plant pollinator-friendly flowers in your club colours? Or create a biodiversity walking trail around your pitches? Whatever the size or space, every club can make a difference. Find out more in the free guide ‘Pollinator-friendly management of sports clubs’.



5. Do a Flower-Insect-Timed Count

Become a citizen scientist and help us keep track of insect populations by doing a Flower-Insect-Timed (FIT) Count. Take a mindful 10 minutes, sit in front of a patch of flowers and count how many insects visit. Send us your results online or use our free FIT Count app.


Find out more 


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