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Hot Off The Press! New Research From Our Own Conservation Specialist, James Wolfin, Highlights How Bee Lawns Can Help Protect Our At-Risk Pollinators!

Before working at Twin City Seed Company, our Conservation Specialist James Wolfin was working on the “Bee Lawn” project at the University of Minnesota under the advisement of Drs. Marla Spivak (Entomology) and Eric Watkins (Turfgrass Science).  Earlier this week his research on bee lawns was published in the academic journal Urban Ecosystems! Bee Lawns have been gaining steam in Minnesota for quite some time and the rest of the nation is starting to catch on! Now the results of his research are published and we can put some hard numbers to just how beneficial bee lawns really are. Some highlights:

  • More than 65 bee species were observed foraging in Bee Lawns in Minneapolis, Minnesota alone.  According to the most recent estimates from the University of Minnesota Bee Lab, that is good for more than 10% of bees in the entire state of Minnesota!
  • Dutch Clover alone supported 56 bee species! More than 50 of those bee species observed were native species!
  • Bee lawns (using the very same mix sold here at Twin City Seed) were found to support more diverse bee communities than lawns that contain only Dutch White Clover.
  • More than 97% of the bee specimens observed on Self heal and Creeping thyme were native bees!

If you’re looking for a take home message, this passage from the publication really stuck out to our team:

“While florally-enhanced turfgrass lawns are not an alternative to gardens and native plantings, they are a significant improvement to the conventional turf lawn that can function as a food desert for pollinators. In areas where turfgrass is desired, enhancing the turfgrass with low-growing flowers could become the new norm for landscaping as part of a widespread effort to conserve natural resources and protect our at-risk pollinators.”

If you want to join the Bee Lawn Movement, check out our Bee Lawn Seed Mix! James, the first author on this paper, continues to pump out new bee lawn mixes to meet the needs of the diversity of residents and yards that we encounter, and the diverse bees we hope to protect!

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