Save the bees!
The manta has become engrained in popular culture in recent years, and for good reason – a dearth of our pollinating friends would spell disaster for humanity in terms of crop production and yields for years to come.
And if helping save the planet isn’t enough incentive, the state of Minnesota is willing to hand over some cash in exchange for its residents creating yards that are welcoming and sustaining for bees.
Legislators there recently passed a bill that was signed into law by Governor Tim Walz that sets aside an annual budget of $900k to be specifically used to help state residents convert their lawns into bee sanctuaries.
Specifically, they’re concerned about the safety and survival of the rusty patched bumblebee, a pollinator native to the Midwest that is in serious trouble – their numbers have declined by up to 87% in less than 20 years.
Once the law takes effect, people will be able to apply for financial assistance to convert their lawns, with 75% of the total cost covered – or up to 90% for projects specifically aimed at helping rusty patched bees.
The projects should be planted with “native vegetation and pollinator-friendly forbs and legumes,” according to the bill, including “undesirables” like white clover and dandelions.
They hope to put the bill into effect next spring, though there are some details (like who will handle the disbursement of funds) to figure out.
Minnesota isn’t the only place willing to go the extra mile when it comes to the bees, either – the UK has banned pesticides that are harmful to bees, and Holland has instituted “insect hotels” to be strategically placed in order to give bees a safe place to land.
If you’re wanting to do your part on your own dollar, have at it!
Just make sure your homeowner’s association is down with “weeds” in your “lawn.”