How Can Schools Help Pollinators?
In 2015 bee experts in Ireland came together to produce the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020. We did this because our pollinators, especially our bees, are in big trouble. We need bees to grow our fruit and veg, and to make sure our countryside has lots of beautiful wildflowers.
Now we need your help to make Ireland a better place for bees and other pollinators. We need you to tell everyone how important bees are. We also need you to make your school and garden a safe place for bees to live.
Want to learn how you can help? Download the Junior Version of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan here (both English and Irish language versions available):
5 Examples of Things You Can Do in Your School to Help Pollinators
1. Plant lots of different flowers in pots or flowerbeds around your school: Your teacher can get a list of what flowers are best for bees. Bees need flowers for food, so try to make sure some flowers are in bloom every month from spring through to autumn. Here are examples of good plants:
2. Plant a shrub that flowers in early spring: This provides very hungry bumblebee queens with food. Good shrubs are Willow, Hazel, Broom, and Berberis.
3. Grow some fruits and vegetables for bees: Bees like the flowers of strawberries, raspberries, peas, courgettes and apples. Then later you can eat the fruit they help produce!
4. Provide some places for bees to nest: Not all bees nest in bee hotels. See the Junior Pollinator Plan to learn how to create good homes for all our bees.
5. Don’t use chemicals (pesticides): They can be harmful to bees and other pollinators.
Other Pollinator Plan Resources for Schools
- COMING SOON! A hands on science module for primary school teachers that will support the Junior Pollinator Plan. This module will teach children the key points about our pollinators and will link into primary school curriculum. Check back in early 2017 for this resource!
- How-to-Guide 1: Creating Wild Pollinator Nesting Habitat: If you are thinking of buying or making a bee hotel, download this document first to make sure your nesting habitat is perfect for our bees!
- How-to-Guide 2: Collecting and Using Pollinator Friendly Wildflower Seed: If you want to learn how to grow your own Irish wildflowers from seeds you can collect, download this guide on working with wildflower seed.
- How-to-Guide 3: Hedgerows for Pollinators: If you have hedgerows in your garden or school, download this guide on how to make them perfect for pollinators
- How-to-Guide 4: Creation and Management of a Wildflower Meadow: Download this guide to make sure your wildflower meadow or project is sustainable and pollinator-friendly.
- For suggestions on what flowers bees like best, look at the planting suggestions in our guidelines for gardens (Gardens: Actions to help pollinators) and local communities (Local Communities: Actions to help pollinators)
- Signage templates: We have an A3 signage template that can be used anywhere you are managing land for pollinators. Download the template and if desired add the logos of your school and/or sponsors. There are two versions of the template (available in PDF and JPEG format):
NOTES FOR USING SIGNAGE TEMPLATES: If using these signage templates in the Republic of Ireland, the bilingual version has been deemed compliant by An Coimisinéir Teanga with the Regulations made under the Official Languages Act. If adding text or logos there is no requirement to translate the name of a private company or organization and logos are also exempted (however translation of straplines is usually required). Care should be used when displaying a Public Body’s name on signage to ensure that it is in compliance with the language Regulations.
- Pollinator Posters: We have posters of the bumblebee and solitary bee life cycles. You can download the links below to print A3 posters of these educational infographics.