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. Since its start in the 2021 winter planting season until this winter 2023, we will have planted 3,587 mixed fruit orchards all over Ireland to help protect the bees and increase pollination.
The orchards are bieng planted by our Host in Ireland Partners and other interested companies, in collaboration with community groups, schools and organisations throughout Ireland.
'We want to better coexist with biodiversity and help return food and shelter for pollinators to our island.'
All Ireland Pollinator Plan 2021-2025
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 & Communities
In an age of increasing social isolation, community orchards are wonderful spaces for bringing people together around a common, positive purpose. Orchards are cherished natural areas that give sustenance to people as well as wildlife.
In this time of climate emergency, when many of us feel disempowered, urban community orchards become a tangible way for people to take positive, practical, local action on food security, tree coverage and biodiversity loss.
The success of the Orchards In The Community project has been so overwhelming that we have recently decided to roll the project forward into the planting season starting in November 2023. We increased the target from 2000 mixed fruit tree orchards to 3,500 – the equivalent of more than 17,500 fruit trees right across the country!
We put out the call for pledges for Orchards In The Community this year. The response from our Host in Ireland partners and other interested companies has been phenomenal.
Some of these pledges will be placed in a Community Planting Pot which will act as a bank of Orchards that local Community groups and organisations can draw on, to plant in their own towns and communities throughout Ireland.
Proud to be part of the 3500 orchards pledge
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
We have a limited number of DCs for Bees Orchards available free of charge for planting in communities and towns around Ireland.
We are currently taking expressions of interest from Community Organisations, Charity
Groups, Schools, Nursing Homes and Individuals who are in a position to take and plant 10 or more Orchards from our Community Pot.
Each DCs for Bees Orchard comprises 5 trees - 3 x Apple (Discovery, Boskoop, Katy), 1 x Pear (Conference) & 1 x Plum (Victoria).
While it is not necessary to plant all 50 trees together, we would ask, to ensure effective pollination, that each Orchard bundle of 5 trees be planted in proximity to each other. The trees should ideally be planted approx. 2 - 3 m apart (within bee flying distance!).
Our Community Pot Orchards will be dispatched from November 2023.
If you think you would be in a position to take 10 or more of our DCs for Bees mixed fruit Orchards, please submit the form below.
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.
REUTERS EVENTS: RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS AWARDS 2023
Host in Ireland
Our Orchard Bundle
DCs for Bees Blog
Keep Up To Date with DCs for Bees
We invite anyone who would like to keep up to date with all the news on DCs for Bees, or to find out more about our activities and events to sign up using the form below.
By submitting this form you are also agreeing to sign up to our Host In Ireland mailing list from which you may receive occasional emails with news and updates.