'No Mow May' Is the Easiest Way to Help Save the Bees This Spring
Homeowners are participating in "No Mow May," letting their lawns grow freely for an entire month. Here's how it helps save the bees.
Mowing the lawn is one chore we can do without—and now, we have the perfect excuse not to. It's time to participate in "No Mow May."
#NoMowMay has over 32,000 posts on Instagram, with homeowners sharing pictures of their beautifully overgrown lawns. Plus, they're even capturing photos of nectar-loving pollinators who are enjoying the open access to free-growing plant species.
While skipping the weekly mow might have been a result of procrastination, those who skip out on the chore are actually benefitting the environment. From increasing biodiversity and strengthening ecosystems to saving the bees, here's why we love No Mow May.
What Is No Mow May?
No Mow May is an initiative that gained traction during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when most people were in lockdown with a lot more time on their hands.
The annual campaign was started by Plantlife, a conservation charity in the U.K. that aims to save threatened plant species. The campaign takes place in the U.K. However, many people living in North America are getting on board.
No Mow May encourages you to keep the lawnmower in the shed and let your lawn grow freely. And the campaign even says you don't need to let the entire lawn grow wild. Just a small patch can make a difference.
The question is: Why should we participate?
The Benefits of No Mow May—Can It Help Save the Bees?
The most obvious reason to participate is to give flowers and other plant species the opportunity to thrive. And doing this allows for an increase in plant species and biodiversity. But there's more.
Allowing lawns to grow wildly increases the number of nectar-rich plants. And that increases the number of bees and pollinators in our gardens! According to Plantlife's research, about 80% of lawns participating in previous No Mow May campaigns supported around 400 bees per day.
This was seen through the nectar produced by dandelions, white clovers, selfheal, and others. Additionally, approximately 20% of lawns supported 10 times as many—or about 4,000 bees per day!
According to our previous research, many bee populations are threatened by climate change, habitat loss, and pesticide use. And most of these factors are a result of human activity.
However, bees are essential to flourishing ecosystems—they help pollinate over 90% of the world's crops. And without them, we may see a decrease in our favorite flower species and natural food sources like produce and nuts.
Letting your lawn and garden go untouched for an entire month doesn't just give bees and pollinator species an abundance of nectar. It also decreases the use of pesticides and fertilizers—aka harmful chemicals that poison wildlife and the planet. That means bees and other pollinator species go unaffected for the month—and can thrive off the new growth!
May isn't over just yet, so you might want to put the lawnmower back in the shed until the end of the month. Let your garden or your lawn grow freely, and watch nature's magic unfold.
If you choose to participate in No Mow May this year, be sure to document your experience and share new growth and insect species on social media! You can also pledge to participate on Plantlife's website and participate in surveys to help research.
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