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No Mow May: How skipping a chore once in a while can help our local pollinators

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Posted at 4:58 PM, May 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-24 00:01:48-04

BOZEMAN - No Mow May is a movement spreading throughout the nation, encouraging people in America to take a break, now and again, from mowing their lawns to help out pollinators.

“Bees are excellent pollinators—they’re the best pollinator out of any animal—because they have those fuzzy bodies,” Abi Saeed said.

Abi Saeed is the MSU Extension Horticulturalist Specialist, and her initial interest was sparked by bees. During her undergraduate years, she studied solitary bees and pollinators in urban areas.

When it comes to offering pollinators ample flowering in urban areas, or habitats being developed, allowing some dandelions to grow or planting flowers.

“Because of the fact that we have less flowering plants, because of less habitat, putting in flowers in your gardens, or letting dandelions grow in your yard, or clover, can help bees,” Saeed said.

MSU Extension still recommends managing noxious weeds, one way of doing so is by mowing, to maintain a health yard environment.

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No Mow May is a movement spreading throughout the nation, encouraging people in America to take a break, now and again, from mowing their lawns to help out pollinators.

“People ask us all the time, ‘what can we do to help the bees?’ and it’s quite a task,” Steve Thorson said, “Planting, but probably the best thing you can do is become a hobby beekeeper.”

Steve Thorson is a long-time Bozeman resident, with 12 years of beekeeping experience, and has owned the the Montana Honey Bee Company in downtown Bozeman, for seven years.

“Beekeeping is very regional, pay attention to local people when you are on the internet just make sure what you're watching isn’t from the south or the coast, make sure it’s regional,” Thorson recommends to aspiring beekeepers.

Those wishing to keep bees at an arms length, but still interested in helping can strike a balance between managing weeds and allowing a dandelion or two sprout every now and then for our regional pollinators.