Are you interested in creating a perfect lawn around your property? Well, there are so many things to consider. Countless people create yards for their family time or memorable moments with neighbors. However, other humans want to welcome little species to their lawns.
It is high time to change the concept of a perfect lawn. Countless studies reveal that bees are presently at risk of extinction, and humans must make efforts to create a favorable environment for them. As a result, people are now making efforts to develop lawns with foraging opportunities for bees.
The bee-friendly lawns have a perfect mixture of turf grasses and low-growing flowering. They are planted creatively and maintained with standard procedures. Therefore, they have a pleasing aesthetic appearance, and the environmental purpose is successful.
Why Humans Need Bees?
As per a recent study published in Nature Communications, just 2% of species of wild bees can contribute to around 80% of the pollination crop visits on the global level. It means that if only a small percentage of these bees disappear, it will likely cause significant losses to the agricultural system.
Reports reveal that the growth of 70 out of 100 food crops around the world rely on pollinators. It leads to almost 90% of the nutrition in the world. These stats may appear questionable, but it is true that without bees, you cannot experience the fantastic taste of avocadoes, oranges, almonds, and apples as well.
Stats reveal more than 850 million people around the world are in trouble due to a lack of food. And by the year 2050, the global population may rise to nine billion. So, it is essential to increase the bee population by a considerable level, so that mass food scarcity is avoidable in the future.
Bees for the ecosystem:
Bees are one of the most critical elements of the ecosystem. They allow the natural reproduction of plants via pollination. These plants make a significant contribution to the food chain, not just by feeding animals; instead, to the insects and birds as well. If this vital food source gets diminished, it will likely damage the entire food supply chain.
About 80% of the flower plants are highly dependent on pollination. If this process ends due to the loss of bees, the future generations may not be able to see the beautiful flowers the earth provides for beauty, and food sources for squirrels and birds as well.
Creating your bee lawn:
“With a bee lawn, we try to introduce low-growing flowers that will bloom after being mowed and are good sources of forage for pollinators,” said James Wolfin, a University of Minnesota graduate student in the departments of entomology and horticulture who is researching bee pollinator habitat enhancement. Good forage, he added, “Means that the nectar is high in sugar content and the pollen is high in protein.”
Those who are interested in building their bee lawn around the property are advised to follow a simple four-step process:
1) First of all, you should identify the turf. Make sure it is suitable for the bees.
2) Once the turf is finalized, choose bee-friendly flowers.
3) You have to modify the existing lawn management to ensure that bees can live happily, and it doesn’t even cause disturbance to your neighbors.
4) Sow your seeds at the right time
What types of flower seeds should you choose?
University of Minnesota researchers found that in the initial trials, Dutch white clover (Trifolium repens) was effective in attracting both honeybees and native bees. Last year they added lanceleaf self-heal (Prunella vulgaris ssp. lanceolata) to the trials and this year are adding creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum), lanceleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolate) and calico aster (Symphyotrichum lateriflorum).
“The diversity we have found in these bee lawns is incredible,” said Wolfin. “More than 40 species of bees native to Minnesota chose clover as a forage resource.” There are an estimated 425 bee species in Minnesota, and the diversity numbers are based on a survey limited to urban parks. “That we had an estimated 10 percent of the bee species in the state on one flower species alone was really remarkable for us.”
Increasing the number of flowering species in lawns will also increase the different species, the bee lawn will attract. In the three years that researchers have been studying bee lawns, slightly more native bees have been observed than honeybees.
Other Plants to use:
- White clover
- Dutch micro-clove
- Creeping thyme
- Shade-tolerant lamium
- Globe thistle
There are hopes that more people will be bee conscience this year in preparing their lawns and gardens for an enriching bee experience.