To bee or not to bee? The council faces a dilemma
THERE’S a buzz in the corridors of Kilkenny County Council after a motion was tabled that bees, which match the black and amber GAA jersey, should be designated their ‘county insect’.
If the motion is successful, ‘Welcome to Kilkenny’ signs will likely feature bees, and Brian Cody’s local heroes will be expected to give the campaign an added sting.
Green Party councillor Malcolm Noonan put down the motion to highlight the plight of the bee – but not the plight of the hurlers after their defeat to Galway last week.
And it appears that he has won strong cross-party support, even from council chairman Eamon Aylward of Fianna Fáil.
Mr Aylward believes the motion will pass and bees will become a symbol of the council on various signs.
‘Not so much road signs, I’d be thinking of anti-litter signs,’ he said. ‘Maybe we could have a symbol of the bee and wording to say anyone caught littering can be stung with a big fine.’
Mr Noonan said: ‘The county colours and the team manager Brian Cody came into my mind when I was thinking of a way to highlight the plight of the bumble bee. I was talking to a beekeeper recently and he told me there will be 30% of them gone in the next few years, and that kind of focused my mind.
‘I’d be hoping the council would agree to manage grass verges, rather than cut them, and leave them as a natural habitat for the bees, that’s the kind of thinking I want to encourage.’ Last month, pollination experts at Trinity College were asked to contribute to an international probe into the decline of bees.
The €9million project, funded under the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, will work with farmers and beekeepers across Europe to uncover why so many species are facing extinction.
Bees play a critical role in the foodchain, but can die of starvation if flowers disappear because they feed on nectar and pollen.