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NEWSLETTER: OCTOBER 2020

1. To do this monthhelp us understand what plants are important to bumblebees in October

Most bumblebees have gone into hibernation by now. Often the last one to hang around is the common carder bumblebee (Bombus pascuorum). You can recognise it by its all ginger thorax and ginger tail. It is very useful to know what this bee is feeding on at this time of year. You can see it below on Rosemary in spring. If you spot this bee and are able to identify its food plant, please help by submitting your sighting and filling in the foraging box:  
https://records.biodiversityireland.ie/record/bumblebees

2. To spot this month: Can you be the first to spot the Ivy bee in Ireland?

It has never been recorded here, but it is now common in Britain and seems likely to arrive on our shores very soon. This solitary bee has an autumn flight period to match the flowering of its favourite plant - Ivy. In Britain it can be found from early September until early November. It nests in south facing banks of light soil, you might even be lucky enough to have it set up home in your garden!
The Ivy bee (Colletes hederae) is quite large and has very distinctive bands of white on the abdomen. To make it a little easier, most of our solitary bees have completed their life cycles now, although there will still be hoverflies and honeybees on the wing. If you think you have spotted this bee, please try to take a photograph and email it to me for validation.
http://pollinators.ie/record-pollinators/watch-for-new-arrivals

3. 2020 Green Flag Pollinator Award for Parks - congratulations to Maynooth Campus!

The Green Flag for Parks Pollinator Award is jointly run with An Taisce Environmental Education to support the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan and is kindly sponsored by Young’s Nurseries. There are pollinator awards across different park categories, with Maynooth Campus being crowned overall winner for 2020. This site features not only reduced mowing, wildflower meadows, and pollinator-friendly planting, but Maynooth University grounds staff also make a great effort to educate the public and to promote their efforts through its website and social media.
https://pollinators.ie/2020-green-flag-pollinator-awards-for-parks-announced/
4. Nationwide coverage of the AIPP is now available to view from our website

What is the Pollinator Plan? How are councils, community groups and farmers supporting pollinators? This clip was produced as part of an RTE Nationwide programme about the work of the National Biodiversity Data Centre, filmed summer 2020. Sincere thanks to RTÉ and HiLite Productions for allowing us to share this programme as an educational tool. We have also added a short new video on wild bees made by Midlands Science and Dr Saorla Kavanagh to the school resource page:
https://pollinators.ie/videos/
https://pollinators.ie/schools/
5. All-Ireland Bumblebee Monitoring Scheme

Within the National Biodiversity Data Centre, our bumblebee monitoring scheme volunteers walk a fixed 1-2km route once a month from March-October and record the number of different bumblebees that they spot. Without the generous efforts of this group of citizen scientists, we simply would have no way of understanding what is happening with our wild pollinators in the landscape. See the latest annual report on the scheme below. Unfortunately, it paints a worrying picture for our two carder bumblebees, including the common carder bumblebee mentioned above. The more quickly we can all come together through the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan to return food and shelter to the landscape, the better for our wild bees and other insects!
https://www.biodiversityireland.ie/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/Bumblebee-Monitoring-Scheme-Newsletter-2020.pdf
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