Plean Bee – documentary examines how All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is reversing pollinator declines

Posted on: 20 May 2021

A documentary examining how the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan (AIPP) is taking action to reverse pollinator declines across the island of Ireland – Plean Bee – will screen this Thursday, 20th May [World Bee Day], at 9:30 pm on TG4.

The AIPP, developed by a cross-sectoral group of stakeholders, was co-founded by Jane Stout, Professor in Botany in Trinity’s School of Natural Sciences. Launching in 2015, the plan has recently launched its second phase (2021 – 2025) to build on a growing number of successes and engage ever-more individuals and groups across Ireland.

Bees and other pollinators have been on the wane here and in other countries for decades – due to the intensification in land use, pollution, climate change, and disease. These declines not only affect the production of some food crops, but loss of pollinators can negatively affect a wide range of wildflowers and trees, having knock-on impacts on many parts of the natural world that we depend upon, and that provides us with solutions to global challenges like climate change.

In Plean Bee, however, produced by Derry filmmaker Deaglán Ó Mocháin, we will not only see stunning close-up footage of our native pollinators, but hear how the AIPP has made great strides towards reversing declines by engaging with Irish society. It has mobilised a citizen’s army of gardeners, farmers, community and sports groups, businesses, councils and other landowners, who, through their actions, have made Ireland a more pollinator-friendly country.

Professor Jane Stout is joined by the AIPP’s co-founder, Dr Úna Fitzpatrick from the National Biodiversity Data Centre, and Dr Pól Mac Cana from Belfast to explain how a variety of pollinators work on our behalf, including honeybees, bumblebees, wasps, moths, butterflies, hoverflies and Ireland’s 77 species of solitary bee – bees of surprising sizes and colours, and which collectively are the country’s main pollinators.

Eagle-eyed viewers from Trinity will notice segments of the documentary filmed on location on our campus, with the iconic Botany building among the venues featured.

Professor Stout said:

“We are proud that Ireland was one of the first countries in Europe to address pollinator declines and delighted to share some of the many successes with viewers this week. We have seen tremendous efforts to reverse pollinator declines since the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan began, but there are many more steps we still need to take.

“The main message we want Plean Bee viewers to take is that these beautiful insects are vital to create and maintain our ecosystems, and that they need help. Everyone can contribute to protecting our pollinators and by working together, we can collectively make a real difference. We have seen how effective collaborative actions can be and are looking to more than double them as the second phase of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan gathers pace. If we keep building on our initial successes we will increase food sustainability, boost the health of our environment, and ultimately improve our own health and well-being.”

Professor Stout is also speaking at an online conference hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on World Bee Day.

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Thomas Deane, Media Relations Officer | | +353 1 896 4685