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CREATING A BUZZ
We caught up with Verette Gabbett from our Limerick team to find out about their urban hive project on the Brown Thomas Limerick store rooftop and why it’s vital to maintain our food chain...
WHY WOULD WE PUT BEEHIVES ON THE ROOF?
Verette explains, “We have a declining bee population not only in Ireland but across the world. This is caused by a number of factors including, loss of habitat, homogenisation of farming practices, the overuse of pesticides, diseases and climate change. We need to fend for the bees we have left.”
WHY IS POLLINATION SO IMPORTANT?
"Pollination ensures that the plant will produce full bodied fruit and viable seeds.” Verette continues, “Honey bees perform about 80% of all pollination worldwide. A single bee colony can pollinate 300 million flowers each day. Grains are primarily pollinated by the wind, but fruits, nuts and vegetables are pollinated by bees, with some nuts such as almonds relying 100% on bees for their existence."
WHAT DO BEES NEED?
"The same things that we do, somewhere safe to live and enough food to feed themselves and their families." Verette encourages, "This is where we can step in by providing them with a safe home, close to food sources. This was made possible for us by partnering with the Limerick Urban Beekeeping Society and the aid of their experienced beekeeper Sean Taylor who has been working with us on our hives and has also trained three members of the Brown Thomas Limerick team to become urban beekeepers and work directly with our hives to play out part in keeping them health and thriving going forward."
HOW CAN WE HELP?
1. Don’t cut your lawn too early, dandelions are one of the first major sources of food for bees who are becoming much more active now that the warmer weather is here. 2. Plant native Irish wild flowers in your flower beds, window boxes or hanging baskets.3. Don’t use pesticides in your garden, these are one of the major threats to our bee population.4. Visit the Biodiversity Ireland website to find out about the Bumble Bee Observation volunteering project.
AIN’T IT SWEET
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Our bee population is not the only thing under threat, check out how you can help to keep our Blue Flag Beaches clean in Pure Shores.