Well, I know that some people are horrified… and yes, I realise that some of the neighbours look with scorn at our little front garden but… have they not heard about Plan Bee?
Bees and other pollinators have been declining in Ireland for decades – because of modern farming practices, pollution and climate change – and this decline is desperately serious for the planet but… The All Ireland Pollinator Plan (AIPP) is reversing this decline by mobilising a new citizen’s army of gardeners, farmers, community groups and county councils to become pollinator friendly and thus, preserving the lives of future generations.
No, this is not just airy fairy fantasy. Without pollinators, the human race and all of the earth’s ecosystems cannot survive. Of the 1,400 crops grown around the world, the crops that become our food and all those plant-based industrial products, almost 80% require pollination by our busy, buzzing buddies.
And the beautiful dandelion? Well, dandelions are a very important early food source for the bees. Maybe the AIPP wouldn’t agree with me on this but what we do is we try to pick the flowers just before they become clocks so that we don’t let them take over the show.
But those gardens that are over-maintained and treated with pesticides etc – they’re destroying the natural habitats of the pollinators. This has to stop – and that’s why we don’t cut our lawns too often. In fact, we haven’t cut it yet this year – and I think it looks great – a nice friendly place for all sorts of friendly pollinators.
Have you cut your lawn yet? Never before the month of May, they say, and then, no more than once a month after that. Then you can have your own wild spot and a haven for all the pollinators. And by the way, World Bee Day is next week – on Friday, the 20th of May.