Finally, it’s May and here we go again with sunshine, warmth and the many blossoms that stretch out towards the sun with their blaze of color as if on cue! Personally, I associate spring with the soft sound of a motor glider’s engine flashing briefly in the cloudless sky, but also with the friendly hum of my busy neighbor’s lawn mower. A pleasant background noise, but one that has a second side:
Scientifically proven: mow less often – more bees
How often is a lawn mowed? On average 3-4 times a month, so about once a week. What does this mean for all the insect species that need the lawn as a habitat? Not only is their habitat destroyed, it is also unlikely to be restored in the foreseeable future. Fertilizers and weed killers are doing the rest. A bumblebee flying searchingly over such a lawn will find neither wildflowers nor wild herbs, it will find ….. exactly – NOTHING!
Biodiversity through laziness – that sounds great!
U.S. researchers tried it out: they had 16 lawns mowed at one-, two- and three-week intervals; pesticides of any kind were prohibited. At the end of the experiment they counted the bees with the unsurprising result: the English lawn that was mowed once a week had the worst result. The lawn that was mowed only every 3 weeks had the most species! Reason: here there was enough “insect food”, such as clover or dandelion.
Expert’s recommendation: mow only 2-4 times a year….
That’s right: wild bee expert Paul Westrich recommends just that. Don’t worry – the tall grass can be shortened just fine with a scythe or a bar mower. And just don’t use any more fertilizer 😉 or remove the grass cuttings immediately. Good mowing times are the end of May / beginning of June and September. This is worthwhile and benefits us all: daisies, dandelions, clover, ribwort plantain and what they are all called, find a home again and we continue to contribute to the preservation of nature, it’s that easy. So don’t forget, the magic formula is: less lawn mowing, more bees💪.
At LTS, sustainable action is close to our hearts. Wherever possible, we incorporate these considerations into our decisions. We do have to mow some lawns regularly due to various regulations, but for this very reason we have created an additional meadow on our premises specifically for bees and insects!
Interested? Here you can find more information about LTS!
Image rights: LTS Lohmann Therapie-Systeme AG