The South Circular Garden is a local community food gardening project on the corner of South Circular Road and Place avenue in Dublin, Ireland. We have a derelict site on loan from ST Salvage Company that we have converted into a community food garden This is a continuation of the initial successful Dolphins Barn Community squatted food garden that was on the canal from 2005 -2007 contact Willie Brennan: 087 958 3797
Friday, June 29, 2012
Enjoy the read
29 June 2012
Why is pollination important?
services provided by insects, mainly bees, are worth EUR 153 billion a year,
according to EU-funded research.
production of more than three-quarters of world crops depend on insect
depend on pollinators include the majority of fruits, vegetables, oil and
protein plants, nuts, spices, and stimulant crops like coffee and cocoa.
·In terms of
weight, 35% of the world food production come from crops which depend on insect
pollination, 60% come from crops which do not (such as cereals) and 5% come
from crops on which the impact of insect pollination is still unknown.
recently estimated that out of 100 crop species which provide 90% of food
worldwide, 71 of these are bee-pollinated.
loss of insect pollinators, particularly that of honey bees and wild bees which
are the main crop pollinators, would not lead to the catastrophic disappearance
of agriculture throughout the world, but would result in substantial economic
losses and greatly increased food prices for the consumer.
particularly bees, are in decline around the world. In some agricultural areas,
farmers already have to import bees to ensure their crops are pollinated.
·The honeybee and Ireland’s native bumblebees are the main pollinators of crops in Ireland.
·A study from the Department of the Environment found that
bees are worth €85m a year to the economy.
native flora is dependent on a range of pollinators, of which bees, hoverflies,
and moths are most important.
101 native bee species
In addition to the honeybee, Ireland has 20
bumblebee species and 80 solitary bee species.
The Irish fauna
fauna is less than half the size of that in Britain, which has about 260
species, and is very depauperate is comparison to central Europe. This is due
to Ireland’s oceanic climate, small surface area and isolated location at the
western periphery of Europe.
Ireland, there are clear regional differences in the native fauna, which are
assumed to reflect climactic variation with the country. The south east of
Ireland, in particular, is richer in species number for solitary bees. This is
not the case for bumblebees, which are less influenced by small differences in
·The west of
Ireland (particularly areas around the Burren, the Aran Islands and the Mullet
peninsula) has a high diversity of bumblebees and is key for many of the
threatened species. Many species have been lost from the east of the country
due to extensive agricultural intensification and urbanization.
species are generalists and can exist in a range of different habitat types,
including parks and gardens. This includes many of the bumblebees and some
solitary species (e.g.Halictus rubicundus, Lasioglossum albipes, Andrena
species are habitat specialists and are restricted to particular habitat types.
The most important habitats for specialists are species rich grassland (Bombus
sylvarum, Andrena marginata, Nomada argentata), sand dunes (Megachile
maritima, Osmia aurulenta, Colletes floralis, Colletes
similis, Colletes daviesanus) and upland heath/bog (Bombus
monticola, Andrena fuscipes, Colletes succinctus). Some
species are most strongly associated with native woodland sites (Andrena
clarkella, Andrena denticulata , Nomada leucophthalma) but we
have little evidence in Ireland of species that are found exclusively within this
·Some bees are
recent arrivals to Ireland. The early nesting bumblebee, Bombus pratorum,
was first recorded here in 1947 and is now widespread and abundant throughout
the country. The most recently arrived bumblebee is the mountain bumblebee, Bombus
monticola, which was first recorded in the Wicklow Mountains in 1974. Since
then it has been spreading south into counties Carlow and Wexford. It has also
been found in counties Antrim, Tyrone and Derry in Northern Ireland. It is
unlikely to spread as rapidly as the early nesting bumblebee because it is a
habitat specialist and is restricted to suitable areas of bog/heath.
·Many of the
native bees in Ireland are threatened, as highlighted in the national red list.
However, we do retain important populations for a number of species. Of these,
the most important is Colletes floralis, the Northern Colletes bee,
which is a coastal solitary species restricted to sand dunes in Ireland. It has
undergone severe declines in other countries across northern Europe.
Fortunately in Ireland it is not declining and there are still lots of healthy
populations on the east and west coasts. Ireland now holds a significant
proportion of the world’s population, making this a very important location for
carder bee, Bombus sylvarum, and the large carder bee, Bombus
muscorum, have both dramatically declined in Britain. Both are threatened
and need to be closely monitored in Ireland but we do still have many healthy
populations, particularly of Bombus muscorum, which appears to be
capable of exploiting the urban environment here. Bombus monticola, the
most recently arrived bumblebee to Ireland, is also expanding here, despite
being under decline in Britain where it is currently in a species recovery
has a unique bumblebee subspecies Bombus muscorum var. allenellus, which
is found only on the Aran Islands.
The South Circular Road Community Food Garden Project started in April 2007. We have a derelict site on loan from ST Salvage Company that we have converted into a community food garden. This is a continuation of the initial successful Dolphins Barn Community squatted food garden that was on the canal from 2005 -2007.