The struggle of the honeybee is so serious in Minnesota – as well as four other states – that the federal government is offering millions of dollars to help boost the population.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says if the current problem continues, food prices will jump. Additionally, the federal government says $15 billion is directly tied to bees keeping fruits, vegetables and nuts in our diets.
In an effort to coax bee population growth, staff members at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum are staking out a bee lawn. It’s considered to be one of the first projects of its kind in the U.S. and researchers hope to extend its reach to residents’ backyards.
“We’re putting in a bee lawn demo to show people what they can do with their lawn to increase their diversity of plants so that bees can be attracted to area and find pollen and nectar,” Mary Meyer, a University of Minnesota horticulture professor, said.
It’s a new venture, and Meyer says it will not look like a typical yard. She says that many homeowners work to remove plants, like dandelions, from their grass, which bees actually treat as food.
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