29 Jun 2022

Longford duo raising awareness for wild bees

Bees Love Dandelions: New children’s book to emphasise the importance of bees

Longford duo raising awareness for wild bees

Angelika Florkiewicz (Angel's Graphics) and Shelley Corcoran enjoying the dandelions

Two local artists have taken it upon themselves to raise awareness for wild bees and their love of dandelions. Photographer Shelley Corcoran and artist Angelika Florkiewicz from Angel’s Graphics have written and illustrated a book for children aged three to eight years old called ‘Bees Love Dandelions’, which is being generously funded by Creative Ireland Longford.

Both are fiercely passionate about the environment and the important role that bees play in our world.

For that reason, their aim is to raise awareness about the bees and their need for dandelions and wildflowers.

“Our wild bees are essential for pollination which is crucial for food production and wild flowering plants,” Shelley told the Longford Leader.

“Bee species have undergone substantial decline since the 1980s. Two bee species have already been lost through extinction and a third of our 98 wild bee species are at serious risk. Wild bees and bumble bees are responsible for pollination and are needed for agriculture and food production which supports the economy. Pollen rich flowers such as dandelion, willow, whitethorn, ivy, clover, knapweed, bramble are widely available for our wild bees if we don't mow our lawns too early in Spring, allow hedgerows to flower and reduce the use of pesticide.

“When we mow our lawns and cut the hedgerows too early in Spring we leave the bees without food. So the idea of the book is to encourage people and organisations to hold off on mowing too early and also leave a part of your garden, just a square section or border completely wild and not cut it at all.”

This exciting new book, written by Shelley and illustrated by Angelika, will be officially launced in June for Cruinniú na nÓg and, to celebrate this, Bees Love Dandelions have organised a competition and want all budding artists between the ages of three and eight years inclusive to email their drawings, photographs or paintings of bees and dandelions to beeslovedandelions@gmail .com.

All the wonderful entries will be put on the Bees Love Dandelions Facebook page for everyone to enjoy and the full set of details on how to enter can be found there too (@beeslove.dandelions).

“This environmental issue is clearly of interest nation wide as the facebook account has received so many messages about the subject since its creation last week,” said Shelley.

“The winners will receive a fantastic Bees Love Dandelions Book and will be invited to the official launch of the book in June to show off their fantastic artwork.”

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