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Less mowing helps bees, study says

| Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 2:36 p.m.
Bees develop natural vaccines to prevent disease.
Christofer Bang / The Washington Post
Bees develop natural vaccines to prevent disease.

The next time your neighbor sneers at your dandelion and clover-strewn lawn, hand him a copy of a University of Massachusetts study showing that letting them bloom helps support the fragile bee population.

The study found that yards mowed every two weeks supported the highest number of bees by allowing those plants to bloom. At three weeks, the lawns had 2.5 times as many wild flowers as they did at two weeks but the higher grass possibly made it harder for bees to reach them, the research scientists said.

The “lazy lawnmower” approach is a “practical, economical, and a timesaving alternative to lawn replacement or even planting pollinator gardens,” the researchers said. “Given the pervasiveness of lawns coupled with habitat loss, our findings provide immediate solutions for individual households to contribute to urban conservation.”

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