CORK county council is buzzing about a new initiative aimed at conserving the rare bee orchid.
The species of bee is set to be introduced at a new location by BAM and Cork County Council as part of infrastructural works currently underway in Water Rock, Midleton.
Hundreds of the species- so-called for their ability to mimic the patterning and scent of a female bee- were recently discovered in the town. The area was one of the first in the country to adopt a pollinator plan.
Bee orchids are usually found in botanical hotspots such as the Burren in Co. Clare and Bull Island in Dublin.
Other plans focus on the reduction or elimination of pesticide use. Altering the frequency of grass-cutting to facilitate more native plant growth is also among priorities.
BAM were appointed to deliver the Water-Rock LIHAF Initiative Infrastructure Works near Midleton last year which includes the construction of approximately 1.2 km of a single carriageway link road and approximately 300m of adjoining single carriageway roads. The roads will comprise a surface water drainage and attenuation system, upgrading of the existing Cork-Midleton/ Midleton Northern Relief Road junction, services, public lighting, and landscaping.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Independent Cllr Danny Collins welcomed the move and said: “As a Council and with the support of BAM, transplanting of the Bee Orchid to a safe location along the Midleton -Youghal greenway is a clear demonstration of our commitment to biodiversity, ensuring it will be available for future enjoyment by the wider East Cork community.
"As members of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, Cork County Council want to identify and protect existing areas that are good for bees and insects as well as planting pollinator-friendly beds, trees and bulbs.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey also commented on the initiative.
“The Water-Rock development is a strategically important project for Midleton and the East Cork area,” he said.
“Cork County Council has worked proactively over an extended period with landowners, government agencies and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage using LIHAF funding to deliver this substantial infrastructure project, providing new roads and services valued at €7.3m. It is wonderful to see how a project of this scale can be delivered in conjunction with a sustainable and considerate biodiversity approach and, thanks to the support of BAM, every effort is being made to ensure that we help reverse the decline of our pollinator species.”