Actions to help pollinators
Encourage bumblebees, hoverflies and solitary bees on your farm
Bumblebees, hoverflies and solitary bees provide a valuable service to farmers, pollinating crops and contributing significantly to agricultural productivity. The guides listed below provide information on new ways to provide enough food and shelter for pollinators in a modern farming landscape.
Maintain or plant flowering hedgerows and on rough areas or along watercourses and boundaries
- Allow hedgerows to flower. Cut on a minimum 3 year cycle
- Allow at least one whitethorn/hawthorn in each hedgerow to grow into a mature tree
Allow wildflowers to grow around the farm
- Allow them to flower – cut once a year in autumn.
- Don’t fertilise these areas and remove toppings
- Pull or spot treat noxious/injurious weeds in these areas
Provide nesting places for bees
- Leave long grass below hedgerows, along lanes and in field margins, along banks of ditches and burns
- Don’t cut these areas between March and October
- Mining solitary bees require bare earth facing south or east.
- Scrape top layer of soil and leave a soil bank– (not close to a watercourse)
Minimise artificial fertiliser use (complete an Integrated Pest Management plan)
- Avoid spreading on field margins buffer strips and below hedgerows
- Fertiliser prevent the growth of pollinator friendly plants
- Use clover/peas/beans instead of fertilisers in some areas of the farm
Reduce pesticide use
- Take care when spraying and avoid the base of hedgerows and headlands
- Avoid non farmed areas where wildflowers could grow
- Pull or spot treat where possible to control weeds
- Avoid spraying on soil banks or stone walls
The All Ireland Pollinator Plan:
Information including a 20 page booklet providing information on the actions to protect and encourage pollinators on your farm.
Scotland Farm Advisory Service:
Practical guides, with information on plant species that will provide food for pollinators throughout the year.