A bee flying

Sweet Sounds of Pollination

11 August 2017
2 min read

Protecting our country's pollinators has never been so important. Laois and Offaly’s creative approach to the problem can be seen (and heard) during Heritage Week.

There’s nothing nicer than sitting out in the sun, lazily watching bees and butterflies flit between bright petals and long grass.

But this spectacle isn’t just for show. It’s a crucial part of our country’s biodiversity. We have 98 species of bees in Ireland and they all do their part to pollinate our gardens and crops. They’re crucial for sustaining our ecosystem, not to mention our economy, and almost all of our bee species are under serious threat.

With the help of Creative Ireland, midlands counties Laois and Offaly are taking a creative approach to highlight this issue during Heritage Week, running nationwide 19-27 August.

Composer Ian Wilson is creating a specially commissioned piece for County Laois. Featuring local voices and the sounds of the pollinators themselves, the work is inspired by the natural beauty of the county. The full piece is set for completion in November, but Cathal Roche is performing a sneak preview during Heritage Week.

We have 98 species of bees in Ireland and they all do their part to pollinate our gardens and crops.

As well as that musical gem, there are plenty more activities for bee-lovers in Laois throughout Heritage Week. From a beekeeping display in Emo Court to the Portlaoise Pollinator Party in Green Flag Park, the whole county is set to buzz.

Musical force Karen Power is taking on the job of combining nature and music in County Offaly. Her interactive sound installation gives listeners a new level of intimacy with these tiny, precious creatures and is composed from field recordings of Irish pollinators and musicians.

There are plenty of other activities for nature lovers throughout Offaly during Heritage week too, including an Ecology Event at Lough Boora, a talk on the folklore of Irish trees and plants and an action-packed nature walk, talk and play for children in Mount Briscoe.

Creative Ireland is a five-year initiative designed to nurture culture and creativity throughout the country. This is the inaugural year of the initiative and Laois and Offaly have plenty more events, programmes and festivals planned for the coming months.