‘No Mow May’ puts lawnmowers on pause to help bees

Published: May. 6, 2022 at 11:18 AM EDT
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PORTLAND, Maine (WMTW) - A movement aimed to help bees survive and thrive is underway during the month of May.

“No Mow May” encourages people to cut back on mowing their lawns or even skip it altogether.

“When I see a lawn covered in dandelions, I don’t see weeds. I see bee food,” said Meghan Gave, owner of The Honey Exchange.

Natural growth provides bees with nectar that they need to grow and pollinate flowers, but many of us are used to seeing and unmowed lawn as a sign of neglect.

“No Mow May” could help change that narrative.

“I think the average person wants to have a beautiful lawn, and when they see lawn just let grown, they think maybe they’re not taking care of the space,” said Jeff Tarling, Portland city arborist. “And I think ‘No Mow May’ is really promoting that it’s OK to pause for that month.”

The city of Portland has taken “No Mow May” to a whole new level. They have more than 30 acres of park space that they only mow once a year.

“And particularly for urban communities like Portland, if you can make a three-acre meadow, it’s a good thing,” Tarling said.

Tickborne illness experts warn that higher grass could create more tick exposure, but that still doesn’t mean that you necessarily must break out the mower.

“Anything we can do to, you know, increase pollinator survival and help them thrive is really critical,” said Griffin Dill of Maine Tick Lab. “But if you are going to take part, certainly just be cognizant of the potential threat of ticks, and take those personal protection measures.”

You can help your local ecosystem and save yourself some yard work while you’re at it.

“And ‘No Mow May,’ I’m all for it. Also, I don’t like mowing,” said Meghan Gave, owner of The Honey Exchange.

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