The first research symposium of the Irish Pollinator Research Network (IPRN) took place in Trinity College Dublin last week. Members of the research groups of Jane Stout (TCD), Blanaid White (DCU), Jim Carolan (MU), and Dara Stanley (NUIG) met for a one day symposium to share research findings and ideas, and to strengthen and build collaboration between the groups.
Launched at the Apimondia / All Ireland Pollinator Plan (AIPP) Biodiversity conference last June, the IPRN is an open network of pollinator researchers committed to building the evidence base for pollinator conservation and management in Ireland. Since the launch of the AIPP in 2015, enthusiasm for pollinator conservation has boomed in all sectors – government, business and civil society. Yet conservation actions need to be effective and need to be informed by a scientific base. The IPRN is providing that base.
At the symposium, research into the effects of agrochemicals and agrienvironment schemes on pollinator ecology, honey chemistry and bee molecular biology was presented. In addition, work on plant pollination, valuing pollinator services, pollination in West Africa, bee proteomics and genomics, and nature based solutions was described. With two big new projects funded recently (watch this space!), and ongoing collaborative projects, the group is contributing substantially to our knowledge of Irish pollinators and pollination systems.