DCs for Bees

REGISTER YOUR

ORCHARD

If you have received a DCs for Bees Orchard, please register your planting location and details here
 

Don't forget to send us your photos and videos to be in with a chance to win one of 2 x €100 One for All Vouchers

Register Your DCs For Bees Orchard

Orchard Planting Instructions

How to join the waiting list for an 2022 DCs for Bees Orchard

Register your DCs for Bees Orchard and send us your photos to be in with a chance to win one of 2 x €100 One for All Vouchers

What is DCs For Bees?

Frequently Asked Questions

DCs For Bees Orchards & Resources

DCs For Bees Orchard Image Uploads

Register your DCs for Bees Orchard and send us your photos to be in with a chance to win one of 2 x €100 One for All Vouchers

Image by Marek Studzinski

DCs for Bees

'Orchards In The Community'

Orchards In The Community is part of the DCs for Bees initiative.  Orchards play a key role in providing an early food source for our struggling bees as they emerge from winter.  To help protect the bees and increase pollination, we are planting in excess of 1,000 mixed fruit orchards all over Ireland. 

Girls Picking Apples

'We want to better coexist with biodiversity and help return food and shelter for pollinators to our island.'

All Ireland Pollinator Plan 2021-2025

The Orchard Bundle

Victoria Plum.png
Victoria Plum
Conference Pear .jpeg
Conference Pear
Discovery Apple.jpeg
Discovery Apple
Katy Apple.jpeg
Katy Apple
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Boskoop Apple
 
 

DCs for Bees Orchards & Resources

Our Aim

Encourage Biodiversity

Orchards are classified as ‘Priority Habitats’. This is because they make ideal homes for thousands of species of flora and fauna, including lichens, fungi and beetles.

To 

Protect & Feed Pollinators

Fruit trees blossom early in the year, providing an important food source for our pollinators at the end of winter.

The deliberate spacing between trees also lets more sunlight in, which is welcome for flying insects, like butterflies and bees, who need warmth to power their flight muscles.

Community Awareness & Action

We will provide a means for organisation & community purpose based activity which will foster an appreciation of, and awareness for, protecting and encouraging biodiverse habitats in our local areas.

orchards in the community dcs for bees

The Role of Orchards

Orchards have played an important role in communities for many centuries, providing a focal point, a gathering space, and a place where people and nature successfully work together to create abundant harvests.

Orchards provide vital green spaces in our cities and towns, where people are encouraged to interact with nature either through becoming custodians of the trees or by simply being around them and enjoying their shade, beauty and fruit.

How to apply for Free DCs for Bees Community Orchard

All Community Pot Orchards  for the coming dormant season have now  been allocated.

 

It is hoped to  run  the project again in 2022, if  you would  like to register your interest, please email orchards@hostinireland.com, marking your email Orchards 2022

 

Measuring Success

Working in collaboration with the National Biodiversity Data Centre, this project will enable Ireland for the first time to track concurrent pollination success. Something that is only made possible by planting the same orchards in multiple locations in the one growing season (Nov 2021 - March 2022).

Please register your orchard(s) by clicking HERE

orchards in the community dcs for bees

Print Materials

Orchard Information 

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Pollinator Plan

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Sign For Planted Area

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Planting Instructions 

Planting Instructions Front.png

Sign For Planted Area

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Colouring Sheet

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Orchard Questions

How many trees are in my DCs for Bees Orchard Bundle?


Our mixed fruit DCs for Bees Orchard comprises of 5 trees.




What type of fruit trees are in the DCs for Bees Orchard Bundle?


Our DCs for Bees Orchards are made up of 3 Apple trees (Discovery, Katy & Boskoop), a pear tree (Conference) and a plum tree (Victoria).




Can I choose different trees in my DCs for Bees Orchard bundle?


Sorry, there are no variations available to our DCs for Bees Orchard bundle.




How much space do I need to plant a DCs for Bees Orchard?


Each tree needs to be planted 6ft-9ft (1.8m-2.7m) apart. In order to ensure successful pollination, the trees must be planted in proximity to each other - the pear & plum tree are self pollinators but the apples need each other to successfully flower and bear fruit. Remember it's orchards that we're planting - so the trees should be together.




How big will my DCs for Bees Orchard grow?


If not pruned, each of the apple trees in the will grow to approx 10 - 12 ft in height and approx 6 ft wide
The plum and pear will grow between 10 - 14ft and approx. 6 ft wide.
The final height of the trees will depend on soil conditions. The site, wind and salt air can all play a role.




What type of rootstock are the DCs for Bees Orchards?


Our DCs for Bees Orchards are semi dwarf trees on M26 Rootstock




What Pollination Group do the DCs for Bees Orchards belong to?


All five fruit trees in the DCs for Bees Orchards are in Pollination Group 3. They are compatible with each other for maximum pollination.




How old are the trees when they are delivered?


Each of the trees in the DCs for Bees Orchard are two year old trees.




How tall will the trees be when they arrive?


Each of the trees will be approx. 5-6ft tall on delivery




Measuring Success - The National Biodiversity Data Centres Pollination Count


The aim of the Orchard Project is to encourage biodiversity and protect & feed our pollinators. In order to measure its success, the National Biodiversity Data Centre will be establishing a 'Pollination Service' count. Each person who plants an Orchard is asked to, once a year, go out and record the number of apples, plums or pears growing on the trees and upload this count onto the National Biodiversity Data Centre website. This Pollination Service can only be conducted when the same species of trees are planted during the same dormant window in various locations around the country. This 'like-for-like' count will give, for the first time in Ireland, an accurate picture on the levels of pollination across the country.




How are the DCs for Bees Orchards wrapped and what size will each bundle be?


The DCs for Bees Orchards are wrapped in bundles of 5 and the diameter of the wrapped roots will be approx 6" x 6" (should fit in most cars if needed). Each Orchard bundle is light enough to easily lift and carry.




Are the trees in the DCs for Bees Orchards labelled?


Each tree is labelled with a 'tree passport' tag. This tag includes the tree variety, colour and fruit detail. Each tag also has a DCs for Bees QR code which will bring you directly to our website www.orchards.ie so you can easily register your DCs for Bees Orchard.





Q&A's

Planting Questions

How do I plant my DCs for Bees Orchard?


Full planting instructions will accompany each DCs for Bees Orchard or you can download planting instructions on our website www.orchards.ie




How soon after I receive them should I plant my DCs for Bees Orchard?


The trees should ideally be planted within a week of arrival, but would be okay for 2 weeks provided they are left in a cold position and not indoors or in a shed.




What extras will I need to plant my DCs for Bees Orchard?


Tree stake (optional but preferred)
Strap to secure tree to stake (optional but preferred)
Spade
Multipurpose compost Mobile phone to scan QR code and map your orchard on our tracker map.
If your planting area has a lot of rabbits or deer nearby, tree guards or fencing may be required until the Orchard has matured.
Download one of our signage templates (and personalise it with your own logo) to highlight your involvement and show how Orchards make a difference for our pollinators .




Can I plant my DCs for Bees Orchard trees in pots?


Yes, the Orchard trees can be planted in large containers but remember, if you limit the roots, you limit the height that the tree will grow.




What maintenance is required immediately after planning?


These trees require little or no maintenance. Prune the leader (Optional) The main stem can be pruned when you first plant the tree. This will get the tree to branch out in the first couple of seasons. If the Spring is very dry, they may need to be watered - but we live in Ireland, so the chance of a very dry Spring are slim!




What long term maintenance do the DCs for Bees Orchards require?


Try and keep weeds away from the base without strimming any of the bark off the lower trunk of the trees. Don't ever spray the trees or the area around the roots. If you wish to keep the trees smaller, they can be pruned just before they start growing in the Spring, but if you have the space, leave them alone and let nature flourish.





Dispatch & Delivery Questions

How will my DCs for Bees Orchard be dispatched?


Orchards are being dispatched to delivery locations by courier




How will I know when my Orchard will be delivered?


An email with full delivery details will be sent to each DCs for Bees Orchard recipient the week before dispatch.




When are the DCs for Bees Orchards being dispatched?


Our DCs for Bees Orchards will be dispatched in two stages – November 2021 and February 2022.




We are taking DCs for Bees Orchards from the Community Pot, when will we receive them?


Your Community Pot Orchards will be dispatched in either November 2021 or February 2022. You will recieve an email lettinng you know which delivery window in advance.




November Deliveries – Pallets of 10+ Orchards ONLY


Due to courier constraints pre Christmas, only pallet deliveries of 10 or more Orchards to single locations can be facilitated in November.
A minimum of 10 Orchards (50 trees) can be accommodated on a pallet. Deliveries will be made approx mid November - (sorry we are reliant on Mother Nature for this one, so can't give a more accurate date yet).
An email will be sent to each recipient the week before dispatch.




February 2022 Deliveries


Individual orchards and grouped bundles of between 2 - 9 orchards will be
dispatched during the first 2 weeks of February 2022.

Large orders (10 or more orchards) can also be delivered if preferred. Each orchard (i.e. 5 trees) will be wrapped as a bundle & sleeved. These orchards will be dispatched by priority courier. An email will be sent to each recipient the week before dispatch.