Minnesota will pay homeowners to make their lawns bee-friendly
Homeowners in Minnesota can benefit financially if they forgot the grass and instead grow a lawn for bees.
A new spending program approved by lawmakers in 2019 called Lawns to Legumes sets aside $900,000 annually to pay homeowners who replace traditional lawns with bee-friendly wildflowers, clover and native grasses, The Star Tribune reported. It's part of a larger effort to help the state's declining bee population.
White clover is a great treat for pollinators!
Although the wildflowers and native grasses will benefit all species of bees, the hope is that unmanicured lawns will specifically attract and help the rusty patched bumblebee. Once abundant across a wide swath of North America, the bee species (Bombus affinis) was formally listed as endangered in March 2017. The fuzzy, striped critters have suffered an 87% decline in population since the mid-1990s due to factors such as climate change, pesticide exposure, habitat loss, population fragmentation and diseases transmitted from infected commercial domesticated honeybees.
The program will cover up to $350 of the cost for homeowners who convert their lawns. The grants may cover more in areas targeted as "high potential" to support rusty patched bees.
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