The bumblebee is one of the most joyful sights of a spring garden. Bumblebees are casual in flight and hit almost every flower you have around, unlike the brutally efficient honeybee who fills up on nectar and flies back to the hive.
Our fuzzy friends are a lot closer than we think. Bumblebees make their homes under residual fall leaves, in holes in the tall grass, under mulch, and along perimeters of gardens. While this is great news for most of us looking to maximize our potential and space, it means that mowing and maintenance are secretly the most important aspects of keeping a bee-friendly yard.
- Careful where you mow – bees are ground dwellers, and for so many reasons, you don’t want to disturb the nest.
- Remember bees are basically like humans, they won’t bother you unless you really bother them. Some will try to charge to scare you, but most of those bees don’t even have stingers!!
- Create small safe spaces in your yard that you’re happy to have bees live in! Leaf piles in the corner that no one will touch, extra mulch under a flowering bush, etc.
- Mow less! Yes, that’s correct! Mowing every 2 weeks instead of more frequently can increase the bee population up to 30%!!! (The Scientific Research Behind Mowing Frequency)
- Never use Chemicals – probably the most intuitive of all, chemical pesticides have been known to contribute to significant bee population decline. There are a few reasons why it’s very important not to spray your yards…
- A chemically treated yard cannot safely support bees – no matter how many mulch or leaf piles there are.
- Chemically treated flowers, grasses, bushes, etc. have residual pesticides in the pollen and nectar that are extremely toxic for the bees trying to forage.
- It’s extra work for what…?! Pesticides grew in popularity for lawn culture and commercial agriculture – a bee-friendly yard is neither of those!
Use these easy 4-steps to make your yard a friendlier home to bees and more!
A Grass Bumblebee Nest on the Fringe of a Yard:
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The Profile of a Bumblebee & Many Resources on wildlife preservation – http://www.wildlifewatch.org.uk/feature-creature-bumblebee