UCC, like all Green Campus registered institutions, incorporate the National Biodiversity Data Centre’s All Ireland Pollinator Plan in maintenance of our grounds, and implementation of new projects. As part of an internship position with Green Campus, Fiach Byrne, a recent graduate of the BEES School in UCC, prepared a Pollinator Plan for UCC. The plan can be downloaded here. UCC will now work to incorporate these recommendations as part of its operational plans, in line with the university’s Biodiversity Action Plan.
Actions undertaken in UCC to date in relation to pollinators include:
- Providing safe habitats and food
- Recent years have seen UCC grounds team planting more native species including native wildflower meadows outside the O’Rahilly Building and at Gaol Cross.
- Companion planting and minimising the use of chemicals also ensures the health of bees and other pollinators.
Native wildflower meadow at ORB
- Raising awareness of the importance of pollinators – UCC Green Campus held a stand at the Cork Agricultural Show in July 2017, together with the National Biodiversity Data Centre. Representatives from both organisations made a presentation about the importance of pollinators in agriculture and food production.
UCC Green Campus at Cork Summer Show
- Research – numerous research projects have been undertaken in the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, on pollinator health and distributions. Studies into the Varroa mite, which parasitises the honey bee, and new technologies for monitoring hives have been undertaken in recent years.
Apis Protect research project.
UCC also installed a number of beehives at the North Mall campus in the Spring of 2018. The hives are managed by local beekeeper Thomas Quigley and in their first year provided a bumper crop of “Alma Nectar” honey, which can be bought in the UCC Visitor’s Centre.