‘Lazy’ Lawn Mowing: A Buzz for Bees

‘Lazy’ Lawn Mowing: A Buzz for Bees In an era where manicured lawns often reign supreme, it may seem counterintuitive to embrace a more relaxed approach to lawn care. However, as it turns out, “lazy” lawn mowing could be the best thing for our buzzing friends, the bees. Bees and Clover White clover is a natural nitrogen-fixer that often thrives in lawns. When clover blooms, it produces abundant nectar and pollen, making it a valuable food source for bees. However, when lawns are mowed too frequently or too short, clover has less time to flower and produce nourishment for bees. Mowing Less and Higher By mowing less frequently and allowing grass to grow a bit higher, we create a more clover-friendly environment. Grass heights of 2-3 inches provide ample space for clover to thrive and bloom. Mowing every few weeks, rather than weekly, also gives clover time to recover and produce more flowers. A Pollinator Paradise When clover blooms, it attracts bees from far and wide. The abundant nectar and pollen provide sustenance for worker bees, enabling them to support their colonies and produce honey. In turn, bees play a crucial role in pollinating flowers and plants, including fruits, vegetables, and flowers we enjoy. Other Benefits Beyond its benefits for bees, “lazy” lawn mowing also has other advantages: * Reduced Water Use: Taller grass has deeper roots that access more moisture, reducing the need for watering. * Improved Carbon Sequestration: Grass stores carbon dioxide in its roots and soil, helping to mitigate climate change. * Less Noise Pollution: Mowing less frequently reduces noise disturbance in neighborhoods. Embracing the Buzz Embracing a more relaxed approach to lawn care not only benefits bees but also promotes a healthier ecosystem. By allowing clover to flourish and mowing less frequently, we can create a more inviting environment for these essential pollinators. So, as you consider the next time to mow your lawn, remember that “lazy” lawn mowing may just be the buzz you need for both bees and the environment.Author InformationAuthor Information * Author: Mark Richardson * Publication: Telegram & Gazette Article Summary The article discusses the environmental impact of traditional lawn care and promotes the adoption of low-impact practices. * Traditional lawns often require synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and frequent mowing, which can harm the environment and human health. * Low-impact lawn care includes reducing lawn size, eliminating synthetic inputs, and using electric equipment. * Allowing lawn weeds to grow can provide habitat for pollinators and other beneficial insects. * Reducing mowing frequency increases flower abundance and bee populations. * The author recommends a “lazy lawn mower” approach: mowing every two weeks as a compromise between aesthetics and pollinator support. Key Points * Traditional lawn care practices can be harmful to the environment and human health. * Low-impact lawn care reduces environmental impact and provides habitat for wildlife. * Reducing mowing frequency is beneficial for pollinators. * The “lazy lawn mower” approach is a practical balance between aesthetics and ecological impact. Photo Caption New England Botanic Garden’s director of horticulture suggests a relaxed approach to mowing to reduce the environmental impact of lawn care. Author Bio Grace Elton is the CEO and Mark Richardson is the Director of Horticulture at New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill, a 171-acre botanical garden in Boylston, Massachusetts. The garden focuses on creating plant-related experiences that inspire people and promote environmental well-being.Scientists have long sounded the alarm over the devastating decline in bee populations, which play a crucial role in our ecosystem as pollinators. One of the key factors contributing to this decline has been the widespread use of pesticides and herbicides, which have decimated bee habitats. But a recent study has found that there is one simple thing we can all do to help bees: mow our lawns less often. According to the study, allowing grass to grow longer can provide bees with a much-needed source of nectar and pollen. The study, published in the journal “Ecological Entomology,” compared bee abundance and diversity in lawns that were mowed weekly, biweekly, or monthly. The researchers found that bees were three times more abundant in lawns that were mowed monthly, and they also found a greater diversity of bee species in these lawns. The researchers believe that longer grass provides bees with several benefits. First, it provides a more stable source of nectar and pollen throughout the season, as different plants will bloom at different times. Second, longer grass provides bees with shelter from the wind and rain, which can help them to survive during inclement weather. Third, longer grass helps to create a more humid environment, which is beneficial for bees. The study’s findings suggest that we can all help to support bees by simply mowing our lawns less often. By allowing grass to grow longer, we can provide bees with a much-needed source of food and shelter, and help to ensure the survival of these vital pollinators. So next time you reach for your lawn mower, think twice. You might just be doing bees a favor.


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