Save Michigan Bees and Butterflies By Delaying Yardwork
We've been blessed with warmer weather these last couple of weeks. I'm sure you're anxious to get out into the yard and clean up those flower beds.
Well, experts recommend holding off on cleaning up those leaves and sticks to protect our favorite pollinating insects.
Biologist and pollinator expert at DTE Energy, Kristen LeForce told MLive that the debris in your yard protects butterflies, moths, bees and other insects from the harshness of winter and they may even be hibernating in them.
Leforce says that there's been a decrease in the number of pollinator's due to habitat loss in the spring. Most home-owners are unaware that insects use yard waste as their shelter.
She says, the best option is to avoid yard work until daytime in May when the temperatures are consistently in the 50's, giving the pollinators time to emerge.
They’re already very vulnerable to habitat loss. It’s a little thing we can do in our own backyards just to help the local populations.
Other tips from LeForce on how to protect our pollinators include avoiding cutting old stems from last year. Some insects will burrow themselves into the stems.
No one likes dandelions, but pollinators do. It's a pollinators first food source.
An easy way to help is by planting some native plants and flowers like purple coneflower, bee balm, and milkweed.
I actually own a hoodie that has bee friendly flowers on it. Here's a picture with more flower suggestions!
If you're someone who doesn't have the best green thumb and want help this spring, check out Michigan State University Extension's free Lawn and Garden hotline! For more information on how to save pollinators click here.