Updated: Mar 9, 2021
Did you know that bee pollination contributes to 70% of the world’s food source? Simply put, the success of our species is dependent on theirs.
Unfortunately, we are set to lose almost 90% of our bumblebees in Ireland by 2050 at the current rate of decline - last year alone they were down by 24% from the previous year. That’s not even to mention the fact there are 98 species of bee in Ireland and nearly one third are threatened with extinction. What's more, bees and butterflies are an indicator of the general health of the 11,400 species of insects who not only impact pollination but help maintain healthy levels of pest control and return vital nutrients to the soil via decomposition.
So what can we do as a data centre community to help the bees? Host in Ireland is launching the “DCs for Bees” initiative to make a real difference here in Ireland. This initiative will be a two-phased approach to not only provide the opportunity for individuals to make a difference but tools for organisations to educate, advocate, create awareness and take action.
Phase one of the initiative launches today. Host in Ireland and members of the Irish hosting community are taking part in an event that will change our landscape permanently and create safe native bee habitats. Working alongside the Ireland Native Woodland Trust, our team is clearing, planting and securing native woodland trees - birch, oak & rowan - to help create a biodiverse forest for the bees that will expand both their living and food resources.
The second phase will launch in early 2020 with an action-oriented toolkit designed specifically for the data centre industry. This programme will act as a blueprint to help the largest and smallest of our partners and business in the industry to take long-term action and provide guidance on how to make a bigger impact within their global organisations.
We know people in the industry want to make a difference, but it's not always clear how to go about it in a way that doesn't create unintended consequences. To ensure we are successful, we are working with two of the most reputable organisations in this space in Ireland to bring this vision to life: The National Biodiversity Data Centre along with the Native Woodland Trust. These organisations are leading the way on reversing the worrying trend of population reduction of bees in Ireland through research-based, ethical and indigenous methods. This collaboration will ensure the actions we take are the right ones and are as impactful as possible.
As Jim Lawlor from the Native Woodland Trust, commented to us, “This is the first time that we had a call from an industry willing to work together on such a project. It’s fantastic to be able to take this opportunity to promote native woodland habitat for our wildlife - particularly birds and insects.”
We know as a collective we are able to make a greater difference in fighting one of the greatest threats not only to bees, but to the entire planet. Co-opetition is at the heart of Host in Ireland and this cause is no different. When we are all focused on the same goals as a community with a purpose, we can have a much bigger impact. We have a unique opportunity to amplify the work being done by Native Woodland Trust and the National Biodiversity Data Centre. We look forward to seeing others follow our lead and get involved in initiatives like this.
We invite anyone who has any questions, would like to participate, get involved in any capacity or give feedback and suggestions - to get in touch directly with Host In Ireland. firstname.lastname@example.org