Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Lawns for Bees

Minnesota has launched a program encouraging people to convert lawns to wildflowers and native grasses to support bees.  That's a good start, but they really need to block the practice of requiring lawns or banning flowers and gardens, which is a serious problem in some neighborhoods.  

There are many ways to make a lawn more bee-friendly that aren't as radical as replacing it altogether.  
1) Quit putting insecticide on it, which kills bees and other pollinators.
2) Quit putting herbicide on it, which kills plants that bees and other pollinators need.  If you have noxious weeds, you can still spot-spray those or use a different removal method.
3) Add white Dutch clover and/or red clover.  These have flowers that feed bees, and the roots fix nitrogen, so you also need less or no fertilizer.

My definition of "lawn" is "whatever low-growing green stuff survives mowing and foot traffic."  It's a crazy quilt of wild and cultivated grasses, assorted weeds, clovers, a lot of violets in the shady parts, also moss, and so on.
Tags: gardening, nature, news, science, wildlife
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