An easy way to support native bees and create pollinator-friendly habitat in your backyard is to do nothing! We’re talking about No Mow May, an initiative to limit the mowing and clearing of your yard to promote healthy habitats for pollinators.
Bees are critically important pollinators to our local Southeastern Wisconsin ecosystem, and in the winter they hibernate in our yards: under leaf piles, sticks and branches, and in holes in the ground. If we clear our yards early, we may be eliminating these important pollinators before they have emerged from hibernation. A messy yard with last year’s leaves, stems and rock piles are a wonderful winter home for these essential pollinators. The other important reason to delay the yard cleanup every year is because our lawns naturally grow the resources that bees require to survive: including dandelions, clover, and naturally occurring spring flowers. If all we do is wait to mow our lawns, then bees will be given more time to have the food and resources they need to survive!
Make sure you check your local ordinances on lawn-height requirements and obey your city, village or town laws. If your neighborhood has such an ordinance, contact your representatives and let them know why it’s important to allow time for overwintering pollinators to emerge. Tell them why pollinators are so critically important to our yards and our wellbeing.
Remember, every yard is important and together we can all make a difference to save local pollinators! Scroll down to learn more about the science behind No Mow May, an endangered species supported by No Mow May, and other ways you can help.