Limerick council launch e-learning tool to help identify Irish bumblebees

Rebecca Laffan

Reporter:

Rebecca Laffan

Limerick council launch e-learning tool to help identify Irish bumblebees

A NEW e-learning project supported by Limerick City and County Council is helping the people of Limerick to identify and record the bumblebees they come across. 

‘What’s The Buzz’ was developed by local bee expert Liz Gabbett in collaboration with the National Biodiversity Database Centre.

Limerick City and County Council has funded the completion of the project to mark their designation as European Green Leaf City 2020.

To log on to the module visit Limerick.ie and Search ‘What’s the Buzz’ or click here

Under the current restrictions on gatherings due to Covid-19, the planned face to face workshops and visits to pollinator meadows won’t be possible for the foreseeable future, so this online module is a great opportunity to learn about bees while maintaining social/ physical distancing.

Ireland has 21 species of bumblebees and they are the most abundant and widespread wild pollinator with 80 percent of wild bees being a bumblebee.

They are sensitive to the diversity and continuity of pollen and nectar supply from flowers, so are ideal indicators of changes in our environment at local and landscape levels.

The module will allow people to actively participate in Ireland’s Buzzing: International Conference on Pollinator Conservation.

The global conference was due to take place in Limerick in May 2020 but has now been postponed due to concerns about Covid-19 until May 2021 in the Limerick Strand Hotel.

Coinciding with World Bee Day, the conference will provide an opportunity to learn from international experts about successful pollinator initiatives and contribute thoughts and ideas for the next All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2021-2025.

Anne Goggin, Senior Engineer with Limerick City and County Council said: “We know that so many people are unable to get out and about and enjoy our wonderful countryside at present, but we’d love you to log on and follow the module, so that when we are able to go back socialising with family and friends, you will be able to astound them with your knowledge of Ireland’s most common bees.”

On the postponement of the conference Anne said: “Ireland Buzzing was planned as Limerick’s centrepiece of events marking Limerick as European Green Leaf City for 2020. As we face the unknown in relation to Covid-19, organisers decided to postpone the event until next year, where, hopefully, we will be able to have an even bigger conference, with more people, with ideas as to how we can make the environment better for all.”

For more information about European Green Leaf City 2020 log on to Limerick.ie/European-Green-Leaf-City.