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Bee colonies thriving at Quinn sites


Company sees its bee population successfully double as part of All Ireland Pollinator Plan

QUINN Industrial Holdings’ efforts as part of a nationwide drive to address the decline in pollinator numbers across Ireland have successfully doubled the number of bees in Quinn’s hives in the space of just a few months.

Beginning with one hive and a colony of native Irish dark honey bees in March this year, the bee population was estimated at around 50,000. Quinn then positioned a second, empty hive next door, which the company’s environmental team hoped would be populated by the increasing bee numbers.

After a couple of months, with bee numbers steadily increasing, the thriving colony driven by instinct divided once the original hive became overcrowded. The empty hive then served its purpose as the scout bees from the swarm deemed it a suitable place to set up home.

The two hives are now said to be performing well with healthy bee colonies that are expected to provide some honey to harvest in early autumn.

Quinn signed up to the All Ireland Pollinator Plan as a business supporter earlier this year with the aim of contributing to the drive to curb the declining bee numbers across Ireland through a number of initiatives, including the beehives.

The company also planted more than 180,000 specially selected pollen- and nectar-rich spring flowering bulbs and 240 native trees at three Quinn sites, which were underplanted with wildflower meadow covering an area of 1,000 square metres.

The resulting flowers have helped to sustain the growing bee population at the Quinn Therm site through the Spring and the company is now planning drainage and soil improvement works to further enhance the wildflower areas in preparation for 2020.

Commenting on the work Quinn have undertaken, the company’s environmental advisor, Oisin Lynch, said: ‘We’re very pleased that these efforts to help boost the bee population have worked so well and we now have two healthy colonies.

‘This is an initiative we intend to grow and develop, and hopefully we can make a significant contribution to the local ecosystem and play our part in addressing the declining pollinator numbers.

‘Our future plans include more wildflower areas, extending periods between mowing in certain areas to allow flowers to seed, and eliminating the use of pesticides where possible. Currently, we are working across three of our sites and we hope to extend this to include other Quinn sites too.’

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