Over one third of Northern Ireland’s bee species are under threat of extinction, Environment Minister Edwin Poots MLA has said on World Bee Day.
The Minister spoke as he launched two new initiatives in Northern Ireland aimed at protecting pollinators such as honeybees and hoverflies.
The UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme and All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2021-2025 will allow communities, farmers and businesses to provide data and increase pollinator-friendly land management techniques.
Launching the initiatives at the premises of bee keeper Sam Baird in Couny Down, Minister Poots said: “Today is World Bee Day and it’s important that we raise awareness of our struggling bee population. Pollinating insects such as bees and hoverflies perform an important role in maintaining our natural habitats, and in providing essential pollination services that we rely on for some of our crops and our gardens.
“However, pollinators are declining at a worrying rate. This is mainly due to the reduction in the areas where they can nest and the amount of food our landscape provides for them. In particular, over a third of our bee species are threatened with extinction. That alarming statistic has led to numerous government and non-government organisations coming together to address the problem.
“I am therefore delighted to launch these new initiatives in Northern Ireland which demonstrate opportunities to support both UK and All-Ireland Pollinator strategies, and national and international partners. My Department is committed to supporting the delivery of actions to support conservation of pollinating insects.
“I encourage the public to contribute by taking part in the Pollinator Monitoring Scheme with a 10 minute Flower-Insect Timed Count survey.”