Bee Lawns: What’s all the buzz about?: A bee lawn is a way to benefit pollinators in our landscapes by providing additional floral resources, and often utilizes a mix of low-growing flowering plants in addition to turf species.
Habitat loss is one of the major factors implicated in the global declines of native bee species. Providing resources utilized by these critical pollinators can assist in mitigating this.
Research through University of Minnesota has found 50 species of bees utilizing the flowers in bee lawns. The purpose of bee lawns includes providing nutritious sources of nectar and pollen for pollinators, especially in urban environments, where these resources can often be scarce and difficult to find. Additional factors include recreational usability, and reducing inputs, e.g., irrigation, nutrients, weed control, and time spent mowing.
Flowering plants suited for bee lawns have a variety of common characteristics including: low-growing and flowering heights, perennial life cycles, the ability to persist with turf species, and tolerance of mowing and foot traffic. The rest of this timely and useful article provides tips on appropriate species of turf grass, flowering plants, and many other resources for those who want to shift to a more ecologically-friendly style of lawn.