The program specifically focuses on reviving the Midwestern pollinator, rusty patched bumblebee because they are right on the brink of extinction.
In an attempt to restore the population of honeybees, the state of Minnesota has recently approved a spending plan which will compensate homeowners who take the initiative to plant pollinator-friendly greenery on their property. This new program was signed by the legislation and sent to Gov. Tim Walz this week, reports the CBS Minnesota. The state has planned on setting aside a lump sum amount of $900,000 which will be distributed among the residents of the area who are seeking to transform their outdoor property and making it bee-friendly.
The program specifically focuses on reviving some of the declining species of bees and butterflies. They mention the same in the proposal that the state has drafted. It reads: "Honey bees and a number of native pollinator species have experienced declines in Minnesota and across the country due to a variety of pressures including habitat loss, pesticides, climate change, diseases, and parasites. Some of our native bee and butterfly species are now in danger of extinction, and these declines suggest that other pollinators are also at risk. Because pollinators enable wild plants and many domestic crops to reproduce, they are essential to the health of our environment, economy, and way of life."
Great idea, bye lawns and welcome back bees! https://t.co/WWEFhQA1FS— Earth Clan (@EarthClanInfo) June 4, 2019
Focusing on resuscitating these tiny creatures, they plan on nourishing the Midwestern pollinator, rusty patched bumblebee because they are right on the brink of extinction. The state will assist these homeowners to covert their traditional lawn by planting clover, wildflowers and native grasses, which would, in turn, reduce the rate at which bees are collapsing. The original House and Senate proposal was to fund them for three years, but it has been trimmed down to a set budget.
Once the proposal comes into action it will be covering up to 75% of the total expenditure that goes into converting the surrounding areas. It will also cover 90% "high potential" areas that are required to support the rusty-patched bees. This program is definitely a step forward as research published by the University of Minnesota revealed the importance of bumblebees in that particular region. These insects usually land on a flowering stem and vibrate at a frequency close to a musical C note, thus released the pollens which are essential to their breeding.
The authorities haven't specified a date indicating the commencement of this plan. The residents will have to wait to know when and how they can apply for this support. The program will be run by the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) and they will be the deciding voice when it comes to issuing grants. Mary Juhl, the spokeswomen of BWSR said that the officials are still formulating different criteria and several other details that will help with the smooth running of this plan.
State Rep. Kelly Morrison, was the one who introduced this bill in the house, reports Star Tribune. According to her estimation, the program should be ready to be implemented by next spring. "I have gotten a ton of e-mails and so much feedback from people who are interested in this," she told the news outlet. "People are really thinking about how they can help." James Wolfin, a graduate student at the University of Minnesota explained how the loss of several wild habitats across the country especially the native prairies have made the installation of bee-friendly flowering plants all the more important for pollination.
Wolfin has invested his time researching about bee diversity and their habitat. Right now he's mainly focused his attention on creating "bee lawn" yards which are rich in food sources for the bees. After a lot of studies and research, he has deduced that small common flowers like Dutch white clover, creeping thyme, self-heal, ground plum and dandelions are exceptionally good for the species. And the best part is the low-cost maintenance of the said plants. "A pound of Dutch white clover is about $7 and it grows low enough that people wouldn’t even have to change the way they mow their lawn," Wolfin said. In addition to that, he said, "So just by not treating white clover like a weed and letting it grow in a yard provides a really powerful resource for nearly 20% of the bee species in the state."