Bugs, bees and biodiversity at the Bord Bia Bloom . . .
President Michael D Higgins meeting staff members Matthew and Traci and student Mark at NLN Ballyfermot Shelbug Hotel Postcard Garden

Bugs, bees and biodiversity at the Bord Bia Bloom . . .

Students and staff of National Learning Network Ballyfermot showcased their wildflower garden and bug hotel at Bord Bia Bloom during June bank holiday weekend, reports Merle van Erve.

The so-called ‘Shelbug Hotel’ cost less than €50 to create and took up residence in the Postcard Garden section of the annual festival.

The project promotes biodiversity and is designed to attract pollinating insects, such as bees.

The garden is mostly consisting of plants grown within or around the training centre and upcycled wooden pallets.

Reclaimed wooden pallets were donated by Rehab Recycle. Some of the plants were provided by RehabCare Ballyfermot.

Students from the National Learning Network Ballyfermot dug up marigolds and seeds from the local area to incorporate into the wildflower garden.

Sean from National Learning Network Ballyfermot at their Shelbug Hotel Garden at Bloom Festival 2022

“Instead of using pallets for bonfires at Halloween, we are showing that we can use them for something that will last all year round. This project is designed to promote sustainability and pollination. The Shelbug Hotel will benefit the bees, the ladybugs, and all the little insects – it’s somewhere for them to have a home during the winter. It’s an essential part of life; we need them,” said Mark, a student at NLN Ballyfermot.

The Shelbug Hotel has now been transported back to NLN Ballyfermot’s training and educational centre to be enjoyed by staff and students of NLN, as well as RehabCare and Rehab Recycle.

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