Importance of bees
The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), Senator Pippa Hackett visited the department's Bee Health laboratory today at the Backweston Campus in county Kildare as part of the celebrations of World Bee Day today 20 May.
The department provides a bee health service, free of charge, facilitating the early detection of pests and pathogens which is key to maintaining healthy stock of bees in Ireland.
“I am delighted to be here today for World Bee Day to see the important work that DAFM undertakes to support our bees and our beekeepers. DAFM’s free bee health diagnostic service is an important part of the supports that are in place for bee health. This service works in conjunction with the Department’s research programme into pathogens and pests that affect the health of Ireland’s honeybee population," she said.
DAFM’s Bee Health service also operates the Sentinel Apiary Programme along with volunteer beekeepers throughout Ireland. The aim of the programme is to ensure the early detection of three exotic pests, Small Hive beetle (SHB), Tropilaelaps spp. and the Asian Hornet.
“World Bee Day highlights the vital role that bees play in pollination and the hard work and dedication of Ireland’s beekeepers in maintaining bee health. Bees are also an essential component of the All Ireland Pollinator Plan and it is an opportunity to celebrate the contribution they make," added the Minister.
DAFM’s Free Bee Health diagnostic service is in addition to other initiatives including annual grants to the Irish National Beekeepers Federations to help their associated members pursue the craft of beekeeping, to support the purchase of bees and to inform the general public about the environmental role that bees play in maintaining Irish biodiversity and crop production.
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