Dr. Cindy Smith from Mow Cow here! I had a little seven-year-old ask me the question, “What do bees do when it rains?” So, I wanted to show you something interesting. I’m here in a pollinator patch, just after a thunderstorm. We just had a lot of thunder. I wanted to show you what exactly the bees do.
The sun has come out, but you can see the storm’s moving through. Here, for example, you can see this bumblebee is still hiding underneath, dodging the rain. And I actually saw one of the bees run under as the thunder was clamoring.
The sun is now out, so they’re all starting to move around and come back out on the flower. Here we’ve got one that’s drying their wings, but they do indeed hide when it starts to rain. They don’t want to be unprotected and getting pelted by those drops. Here, we’ve got another bee drying off in the sun. Anyway, once they get dry, you’ll see them start to fly around again because they absolutely cannot resist the smell of the milkweed.
Bees and pollinators are incredibly important to the environment. If you want to have the best lawn and landscaping possible then you’re going to need some help from the bees. But bees are in danger. A 2017 University of Vermont study showed a dramatic decline in bee populations around the country. Another study in 2014 by the University of New Hampshire showed that 14 species of bee were in decline.
Here on our property we have a pollinator patch we’ve grown to make a hospitable habitat for our pollinator friends, but you don’t have to create a pollinator patch in your lawn. Another potential solution to help pollinators and give you the best lawn and landscape on your yard, a bee lawn!
A bee lawn is a strip of a single species of grass. Other species are weeded out. Bee lawns attract bees by giving them what they want. Some bee lawns incorporate wildflowers and even “weeds” like clover and dandelions that bees love.
Some bees pollinate a wide variety of plants, but other bees only pollinate a small number of plant species. Turf grass lawns support only a few species of bees, but bee lawns support dozens of species of bees adding variety to your lawn’s ecosystem.
If you aren’t ready to turn your entire lawn into bee friendly ecosystem, there are smaller steps you can take to help the bee population and give yourself a beautiful lawn.
Small gardens incorporating plants vegetables and flowers are great for bees
Plant a wide variety of flowers with different hues and bloom times so bees can pollinate throughout the year
Instead of planting one or two plants of several varieties, plant large sections of a single flower. Bees that like that type of flower will visit multiple blooms.