NATURE

Tipperary students learn about the importance of bees and pollination

LOVING OUR LAND

Tipperary students learn about the importance of bees and pollination

David O'Meara from South Tipperary Bees Association offering sample honey tasting to pupils from St. Joseph's Primary School

The launch of the pollinator exhibition Loving Our Land took place with great excitement at the Tipperary Excel.

Children from the Tipperary primary and secondary schools attended the exhibition to see the culmination of their workshops with local environmentalist and horticulturist Albert Nolan.

Mr Nolan was engaged by the Tipperary Excel to work with the local schools in Tipperary town on the project.   

“The early decades of the 21st century have brought a growing realisation that nature, and especially pollinators are facing massive declines,” explained Mr Nolan.  

“There are many reasons for this loss, including habitat loss, a lack of pollen and nectar rich flowers and a general lack of awareness around what actions can be taken to reverse this decline. 

“Using the national pollinator plan as a guide, each school had the opportunity to have a workshop on pollinators. Here the staff and students learned all about pollinators, why they are declining, and actions they can take to help.”

The schools were very positive in their feedback, with the whole school having a greater awareness of bees. 

The students were encouraged to head out after school and the weekend and discover nature in their community. 

 “It is so important that the upcoming generation are aware of pollinators, their importance and how they can protect them,” added Mr Nolan. 

 “Over 75% of what we eat as part of our daily diet is due to the hard work of pollinators. 

“Bees make our diets interesting from fruit, chocolate to wine. 

“Life would be just tolerable without these precious insects, although some would say that no chocolate or wine would make life impossible.  

“Our gardens and countryside would look bare, as bees are responsible for the colourful displays of spring and summer flowers. 

“The effect on our mental health would also be felt, as nothing lifts the mood like the sight of meadow full of flowers, or a garden in tune with nature. This project has played its part in ensuring bees continue to part of our culture. 

“Mead was a traditional drink made from honey and is still served at medieval banquet and fairs. Today we have local beekeepers who continue the strong tradition of producing honey. This is a growing way of life as people recognise the importance of conserving bees.”   

The pupils sowed pollinator friendly plants in the school grounds that consisted of nectar and pollen rich flowers/shrubs that flower throughout the bee year to ensure a succession of food. 

They were also encouraged to explore the school grounds and the Tipperary Hills for bees. The national pollinator plan was launched in 2015 with a junior version available for schools. This gives information on bees, and different actions that done be done in schools.

Cashel Tipperary councill chairman  Michael Fitzgerald officially opened the exhibition and congratulated the children, teachers, the Excel and Albert Nolan on this important project.

Gallery administrator Mary Alice O’Connor welcomed every one to the event, including An Post artist Siobhan Doherty and artist Nayana Sandur who have their work on display as part of the exhibition. 

Venue director Carissa Farrell  said one of the many functions of the centre is to look at different ways it can protect and raise awareness around heritage. 

“This covers much more than just the built environment and also includes the natural world, and people’s interaction with wildlife”, she said, welcoming the exhibiton to the centre.

 t of the Excel, are always looking for new ideas and projects that helps achieve this aim, and this year we are helping pollinators.”

The exhibition, “Loving Our Land” is open to the public until April 5, before it tours the country. It will be displayed in schools, community halls and Libraries to ensure that future generations of young people will learn about pollinators ensuring a lasting legacy.  For more enquiries contact the Tipperary Excel on: 062 80520