There is a buzz about Trinity

Above, left to right: Beekeepers Marcus Phelan and Susie Bioletti, Trinity Provost Patrick Prendergast and Dr. Jane Stout photograph courtesy of TCD. Image supplied by Professor Jane Stout

Queen Mebh and her fellow bees have worked hard and the first batch of honey has been produced by Trinity College’s beehives!

Trinity College Dublin is one of the many colleges and communities which are taking part in the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan. The aim of the plan is to reverse pollinator decline in Ireland and Dr. Jane Stout, Senior Lecturer and Research Group leader in the Department of Botany has been ‘buzzy’ gathering evidence to further help the cause.

Dr. Stout explains what has been happening on the roofs of Trinity: “We installed an apiary on the roof last year for research purposes and to understand the cause and consequences of pollinator decline, particularly in urban areas. We wanted to find out what exactly do bees feed on in urban areas and do we have to keep bees in order to save them. The honey bees are being looked after by aspects of the commercial sector, because we use them to ensure good crop growth. The other 96 species of wild bees need to be monitored and protected also.”

Researchers from Trinity working on a project called POLLIVAL, which has received funding from the Environmental Protection Agency, attended the National Ploughing Championships recently with new guidelines for Irish farmers to help save the bees. Even President Michael D. Higgins stopped by the All Ireland Pollinator Plan showcase stand to show support for the new guidelines because pollinators are vital to our local and global agri-economy. I am sure the honey was tasty too!

by Jessica Ellis