Bee orchid translocation project

JBA Ireland Ecologists have an interesting project ongoing.  Ecologists Joe Freijser and Hannah Mulcahy are working with contractors Sisk and Sons Ltd. in preparing a construction site in Limerick for a new Edwards Lifesciences, manufacturers of medical devices, including stents. 

The pair got to work on site last Thursday, just one day after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar officially turned the sod. This project is interesting for the ecologists as they are getting hands on conservation experience in translocating Orchids, particularly Ophrys apifera- the Bee Orchid. 

Bee Orchids are scarce in Ireland, so this population in Limerick is locally important. This population is growing on a clay earth bank in the centre of the site. 

It is hoped that in a year or so, there will be a relocation of these orchids to a suitable area in the new Edwards Lifesciences compound, which may be enjoyed by the 600 future employees.  Two other orchid species are on site, species yet to be determined. 

Joe is also carrying out Ecological Clerk of Works on vegetation removal from the site, as this has to be monitored by an Ecologist during bird breeding season.

The images below show the distribution of Ophrys apifera across Ireland and the UK (source BSBI maps), and translocation in process.

Location of Bee Orchid populations