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Dear all,

I hope that you are staying well in these challenging times. While we will continue to maintain the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, and plan for the next phase (2021-2025), public health is the key priority and we hope you and your family remain safe over the coming months.  Within the National Biodiversity Data Centre, we are continuing to run some of our pollinator recording schemes, but please only take part if it is possible to do so in accordance with government guidelines. See our guidance for biological recording here:

Úna FitzPatrick
1. To do this month: Carry out a 10-minute Flower-Insect Timed Count (FIT Count) in your garden

You can contribute vital pollinator data from your own garden. Watch a 50x50cm patch of flowers for 10 minutes and record how many insects visit. You don’t have to identify the insects to species, just to broad groups (e.g., bumblebee, wasp, fly etc.). We have lots of resources online to help you. Great activity to try with kids in the Easter holidays! You can submit as many FIT Counts online as you like between now and the end of September. You do need to wait until it’s sunny and at least 13C though! Visit the link to learn how to take part:

2. To spot this monthKeep an eye out for the Tawny Mining Bee

This is another of our most distinctive solitary bees – look out for deep red hairs on the thorax and orange hairs on the abdomen. It usually comes out of hibernation in April and will be around until June. It nests by making little volcano-like burrows into bare soil and is most often found in gardens.

The Tawny Mining bee was thought to be extinct for 87 years in Ireland, before being rediscovered in 2012. A new location was reported from Wicklow this week, but its still only known from counties Wicklow, Dublin, Kilkenny and Kildare. Can you help find new populations?

3. Eight ways to help pollinators from your own garden

In these difficult times, we have been receiving requests for biodiversity-related ways that people can fill their time, as well as information on how they can help pollinators. For those who are fortunate enough to have a garden, you may be interested in our new blog which outlines eight simple and free things that you can do to help.
4. Learn about some of the amazing work carried out by Tidy Towns Groups for pollinators in 2019

We have set up a special communities blog series so that we can share the amazing work carried out by Tidy Towns groups to help our pollinators in 2019. Over the coming weeks we hope to share blogs from each of the eight regional winners in the 2019 Tidy Towns special pollinator award. The Local Authority Pollinator Award is sponsored by the Heritage Offices & Biodiversity Offices of Local Authorities across Ireland. This amazing mural was made by Geashill Tidy Towns Group using old bottle caps!
5. Follow us on Twitter

We have set up a dedicated All-Ireland Pollinator Plan twitter account at @PollinatorPlan We hope to use this to share information on our pollinators and activities across the Plan in the coming weeks and months. We’d be very grateful if you can follow us and help spread the word.
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