Last weekend, we had the opportunity to visit County Clare for the annual bee recorders event held by the National Biodiversity Data Centre. This is the second such event I have attended and it is wonderful to learn more about our amazing bees as well as meet like-minded individuals who are happy to run across a meadow chasing a bee with a net! This is the bee we were searching for. The Shrill carder bee, Ireland’s second rarest bee. It’s stronghold is County Clare, probably due in part to the flora rich habitats.
Shrill carder bee (Bombus sylvarum)
I have not been to County Clare for many years. It is renowned for it’s spring flowers but it’s late summer flowers are just as amazing and brilliant for pollinators.
Exposed limestone pavement and wild flowers
This area of Clare, where we spent our time, is known as the Burren. The word comes from an Irish word “Boíreann” meaning a rocky place, and it certainly is that. It is a limestone karst region, with much exposed limestone pavement but also flora rich calcareous grasslands.
There are so many beautiful meadows. Many like above photograph are dominated at this time of year with devils-bit scabious. But others like the one below are packed with knapweed and hawksbit.
There are amazing limestone walls, ancient tombs, the Burren National Park and more.
But really it is the flowers (and of course the pollinators) that make it a really special place for me. We will return.
Ox-eyed daisy and other flowers
wild marjorum with bee