The first days of May, many bees in the north hemisphere wake up from their winter hibernation and smell the flowers. We can support these essential pollinators in their search for nectar by participating in No Mow May and letting wildflowers grow on our lawn. Weeds are like little cheeseburgers for our pollinators, and they’re able to get some cheap calories really fast and put on some weight that will give them a leg up for the season.
No Mow May has been initiated in the UK. A growing percentage of the participants in Every Flower Counts citizen science survey were choosing not to cut their grass for a month. Embracing a little more wildness in our gardens can be a boon for plants, butterflies and bees. Participating lawns have five times more bees than parks that had been mowed and three times as many unique bee species.
Lawns are actually the largest irrigated crop in the U.S., according to Bee City USA, taking up 2% of U.S. land, around 40 million acres. They require lots of maintenance and tend to harm pollinators because they do not provide nesting sites and are often treated with pesticides.
Bee City USA offers some recommendations for what people who want to support pollinators without getting in trouble can do:
- Mow a buffer area of mowed grass around the space where you allow wildflowers to grow.
- Talk to local officials and health departments about ways to support natural lawns.
- Recommend a Natural Lawn Registration program or similar that allows homeowners to register their alternative lawn with the health department and avoid fines.
- Talk to neighbors about why you are leaving the lawn mower in the garage or put up a sign announcing your unmowed lawn is designed to protect pollinators and is not an act of neglect. (source: ecowatch.com)
Are you taking part in this initiative? You can help the bees even if you have no lawn to mow. Plant bee-friendly flowers in your garden or balcony, eat local organic plant based food, support local beekeepers, become a beekeeper yourself with our domestic beehive! Say Yes to Life, Earth Thanks! 🌿