We are a supporter of the All Ireland Pollinator Plan. In this years Annual review we detail what we do for bees and other pollinators as a business supporter. The annual report is out now and you can read the full report here or read on here for our contribution.
At Brookfield Farm (30 hectares in total) we are delighted to be involved in the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan. As farmers, we are focused on land management to help all pollinators. We aim to have a recognised insect and bee sanctuary on the farm. We keep the native Irish honeybee in several hives on our farm in two apiaries. And additionally, knowing how important farming practice is for insects, we undertake the following actions:
1. We sow at least 3 hectares of pollinator-friendly flower meadows every spring. The flowers last from May to November and provide nectar to the many species of bees, hoverflies, moths and butterflies. The meadows are a lovely sight in summer months, with insect-eating birds like swallows swooping in to feed. Additionally the meadows are sown with Triticale – a grain crop to provide wild bird cover and seeds in winter for seed-eating birds like finches.
2. A third of the farm is in broadleaf trees (10 hectares), including a native woodland. We understand the importance of broadleaf trees to insects, and have sycamore and willow, which provide important pollen and nectar in early spring and summer.
3. We run regular ‘biodiversity’ walks on the farm during summer months in the flower meadows and on the lake shore and explain to people that bees are under threat, but that this means the solitary and bumblebees need more help.
4. Ailbhe is proud to be awarded an Honorary Farming for Nature Ambassador and is also the inaugural RDS Sustainable Farming award winner.
5. About 1/3 of the farm is certified organic, which means no pesticides or herbicides. All-Ireland Pollinator Plan: Business Supporters - Annual Review 2020 18
6. We hand make on the farm hive gifts with beeswax and honey for sale
Some short videos linked below for illustration: