Latest Laois News: Unbee-lievable as Bees have to buzz off out of Portlaoise

Latest Laois News: Unbee-lievable as Bees have to buzz off out of Portlaoise

The hard, cold data shows that our bee species on the island of Ireland are in trouble. Indeed one third of our bee species are in danger of extinction. (Source: National Bio-Diversity Data Centre.)

With such an appalling vista in view the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2021-2025 was rolled into action to replace its predecessor plan which ran from 2015-2020. The plan’s aim is the following:

What a difference a day makes. Left 📷 Portlaoise Tidy Towns

“(That) all of us, from farmers to local authorities, to schools, gardeners and businesses, coming together to try to create an Ireland where pollinators can survive and thrive.” (National Bio-Diversity Data Centre)

The progress made is visible on many of our country’s roads and in lots of our council estates as the emphasis shifts from one of ‘mow’ to one of ‘let it grow’. At the forefront of this change in our ways of maintaining our green spaces in and around our road system in particular has been the stellar work of our Tidy Towns committees around the county. One of the hardest-working and most pro-active and environmentally-conscious groups in Laois has to be the Portlaoise Tidy Towns’ committee and its volunteers.

Don’t mow. Let it grow. 📷 Portlaoise Tidy Towns

Indeed this great group of volunteers can be seen out and about our county town with increasing regularity as the days lengthen. They are at pains to let the dandelions grow. These flowers, in turn, provide one of the very few sources of food available to the awakening bees for the period from April right up to June.

They are following the guidelines given to them to protect our pollinators. Indeed the town’s Tidy Towns volunteers cannot be thanked enough for all they do for our humble bee. They are listed below as partners in the drive to make public land pollinator friendly.

Our carpet of dandelions; so vital for our bee species, cut and gone.

Indeed it was uplifting to see them hard at work as one travelled in from Portlaoise Plaza all along the town’s Abbeyleix Road as far as the Clonminam Road junction recently. All along that route it was a sea of yellow as dandelions flanked both sides of the road.

Objective 2 Public Land by John Hayes on Scribd

With all that hard work in mind imagine the despair of our local Tidy Towns’ volunteers when they realised that a large swathe of dandelions were mowed under at the Midway Junction of the Abbeyleix Road and M7 earlier today (April 15th). It seems that, as tends to be the case in Ireland, nobody told the men on the ride-on mowers to not cut. Those contractors are not at fault. They were doing their jobs. The fault seems to lie in the lack of communication between local bodies and agencies. Was it a case that our local authority did not communicate with those charged with maintaining the verges along and around our motorway system? Or vice versa? Who knows? 

That dazzling yellow provided by a carpet of dandelions was only a memory today.

In the future can the phone call be made to ensure we don’t have the undermining of our National Pollinator Plan that the wider public and local volunteers have clearly bought in to?  Please. A phone call is a small inconvenience when compared with the plight of our vital bees.