Without bees in Ireland we’d have less diversity on our dinner tables and less colour in the countryside

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  • There are 97 bee species in Ireland: the honeybee, 20 species of bumblebee, and 76 species of solitary bee.
  • Bees are the most important pollinator of crops and native plant species in Ireland. They are a key component of our wildlife and one of the busiest, least appreciated work forces we have. A study from the Department of the Environment found that bees are worth €53m a year to the economy.
  • In Ireland crops such as apples, strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, blackcurrants, peppers, courgettes and pumpkins are reliant on bees for pollination.
  • It is estimated that almost three quarters of our wild plants rely on insect pollinators, of which bees are most important.
  • This site provides information on the 97 native bee species, their decline, what needs to be done, and how you can help.

 

Species accounts

The species profile tab allows you to search for information on any of Ireland’s 97 bee species. In the majority of cases the information provided refers to known data on Irish bees. The species pages all have a common structure. Simple key identification features are provided based on observation of Irish specimens. Information is also provided on flight period, nesting biology and preferred environment, based on data held in the national bee database. This database contains all known bee records since 1890 that it has been possible to source. Data on the known flowers visited and the world distribution of each species have been taken from Westrich (1989). The conservation status of each species in Ireland is taken from the Red List of Irish bees (Fitzpatrick et al. 2006). Each species is accompanied by a photograph and a distribution map which links to the live data available through Biodiversity Maps.

Westrich, P. (1989) Die Wildbienen Baden-Württembergs. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart, Germany.

Fitzpatrick Ú., Murray T.E., Byrne A., Paxton R.J., Brown M.J.F. (2006) Regional Red List of Irish Bees, Publ. Rep. to National Parks and Wildlife Service (Ireland) and Environment and Heritage Service (N. Ireland).