Portrunny Aipary

It is a well‐known fact that across the world, bee numbers are declining, with some species even facing extinction. It is also well accepted that without the pollination of these fascinating workers, much of the plant life in the world could not survive, including our own food sources! Because of these 2 facts, there is a worldwide campaign to help save the bee.

Here in Portrunny, our community members feel strongly about the biodiversity of the local area and ensuring that suitable habitats are available for our pollinating friends. As such, an important part of our 2018 activities has been the development of a ten‐point pollinator plan. To summarise, this plan consisted of ten steps that we as a community could take to assess and enhance the suitability of Portrunny as a habitat for bees.

This included activities such as conducting a survey and identifying which areas were suitable bee habitats, and which areas which could be further enhanced. As a result of this, we made positive changes to the way in which the area is managed including reduced use of pesticides and leaving all but essential areas uncut by the mower, especially when the wildflowers were out in force in late spring.

You may have noticed our signs “Area Managed for Biodiversity” For full details of the ten point plan, check it out on the biodiversity section of our website –www.portrun.ie . Point ten of our plan, and one which we are very excited about is the installation of two community bee hives.

Portrun Development Association with the support of the Local Agenda 21 Environment Partnership Fund (2018) received a grant to set up Portrunny Apiary. We are now delighted to announce that Portrunny Apiary is now operational, and members of our community are encouraged to become involved in the apiary and learn the necessary skills required to successfully help our pollinators survive. A local bee keeper has also come on board and we now have the two bee hives set up in Portrunny for the community to learn and become aware of our key pollinators.

We have named this project –Portrunny Aipary.It is anticipated that Portrunny Aipary –currently in its infancy ‐ will encourage members of the community who are interested in biodiversity and bees in particular, to come out and learn together the art of beekeeping. We hope that in this way, the number of hives in the locality will grow over time. This will be educational and fun, with the added benefit of some beautiful local honey produced at the end of the season, and all the while contributing to protecting the environment and local biodiversity for future generations!

If you are interested in getting involved in this project we would be delighted to hear from you –we are always keen for new people to come and join in the fun. Simply contact a member of Portrun Development Association, or send us a message through Facebook or at info@portrun.ie