Margaret Krome: Save the bees — cut back on your lawn mowing | Column
But all kinds of things come between these flowers and bees, especially the mowers. Somehow our society’s eye has gotten used to preferring lawns that look like green velvet – sometimes even moth-eaten velvet, when too little variety leads to fungal infections. All of those shamrocks that my bees love are mowed, and the nesting sites for insect larvae, including pollinators, go too.
This year, the Appleton City Council narrowly passed a provision calling for a “No Mow May” trial this year to allow city residents to voluntarily stop mowing the lawn for a month. This one-month trial alone resulted in a five-fold increase in the bee populations. Communities across the state should follow suit and encourage less mowing.
Five years ago, I learned from my friend Amy that their daughters, Cloe and Luna, then 3 and 7 years old, had attended a pollinator workshop and were so excited that they asked for monarch caterpillars to be brought home to raise and protect them, and have since become monarch ambassadors at their school. Luna encouraged her second grade teacher to raise monarchs in the classroom, which inspired the local college to jointly plant a pollinator garden, which further inspired her art teacher to help the children make garden markings out of ceramic butterflies. Cloe is the first to find and inspect insects that cross her path. Luna says now: “No pollinators, no flowers, no beauty, no luck” and Cloe advises: “Save bees if you want to save the trees!”