Creating a Unique Haven for Bees

Irish initiative cares for pollinators.

This native bee is in its natural habitat.

(Luca love photo /

There’s a reason to care about bees beyond the obvious fact that honey sweetens our lives. In fact, the symbiotic relationship between honeybees and our world ecology has played a vital role in shaping the diverse and abundant world we know today. 

Bees play a crucial role in our food supply, pollinating  over 100 crops, including nuts, vegetables, berries, citruses, and melons, reports The Guardian. However, the combined impact of parasites, pesticides, starvation, and the effects of the climate crisis continues to cause significant die-offs among bee populations. That's why a new Irish initiative to save bees is vital.

The first initiative to support native wild bees
The Bee Sanctuary of Ireland stands as a role model for its efforts to save bees and is the sole dedicated native wild bee sanctuary worldwide. Native bees do not live in hives or produce honey.

The sanctuary, according to the organization's website, covers an expansive 55 acres  in the foothills of the Wicklow mountains that are all devoted to diverse habitats. 

The mission of the sanctuary goes beyond preservation and includes advocating for and educating about the imperiled status of native bee populations. As a living testament, the sanctuary exemplifies the effectiveness of straightforward measures that each person can undertake to address this pressing ecological concern and help save the pollinators.

“There are very few places left globally that are devoted to supporting biodiversity for its own sake,” Rabba Amalia Haas, Chief Bee Whisperer at Amalia’s Bees, told Goodnet. “As a bee educator, I am thrilled to see this sanctuary in Ireland.” 

Valuable resources for education
In New York City, The Bee Conservancy's bee sanctuaries comprise honeybee hives and/or native bee houses strategically located in zoos, urban farms, and other green spaces, serving as valuable resources for the environment and education. These host locations offer protected habitats with ample food and nesting sites, catering to various bee species like bumble, mason, carpenter, leafcutter, and honeybees

The dedicated team of sanctuary beekeepers from The Bee Conservancy ensures the maintenance and well-being of these sites. Approximately one-third of the bee sanctuaries are strategically placed near urban farms and community food gardens, according to the organization. This positioning aids in increasing crop yield through enhanced pollination services and contributes to supporting sustainable local food systems.

Other Bee Sanctuaries are more urban and located in public places where communities can witness bees in action. This helps to promote public awareness and support for essential pollinators while enhancing local biodiversity. 

The organization also organize engaging programs that include educational talks, classes, wildlife walks, and citizen science initiatives, reaching out to thousands of people and fostering environmental stewardship. These initiatives play a vital role in educating the public about the significance of bees in the ecosystem.

What you can do
You can help protect bees, according to Positive News, by preserving as much of your outdoor space in its natural and wild state. Avoid using chemical pesticides in your garden and choose plants, seeds, and bulbs that are untreated with pesticides. If you have pets, consult your veterinarian about using alternative flea treatments that do not contain neonicotinoid pesticides. 

But even more importantly, you can advocate for your local community to manage green spaces in a bee-friendly manner. By working together, people can help save the bees.

“To see human beings acting as guardians of nature by providing forage for the vast world of bees, many of which co-evolved to have a unique relationship with one species of plant and flower, is awesome,” Haas said. “Every square meter of land that is allowed to grow wild without pesticides improves outcomes for native bees and pollinators without which ecosystems cannot flourish.”

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