Study shows lawn mowing frequency affects bee abundance, diversity

A study done in Springfield, Massachusetts may help you find a reason to take a break from mowing the lawn as the grass starts to return alongside the warm weather.

Research done by a group, which includes Dr. Susannah Lerman from the University of Massachusetts as lead author, showed that cutting grass every two weeks helps to grow more pollinating plants that bees need to survive.

The study was conducted over a span of two years, with researchers mowing 16 residential lawns in Springfield to learn how much bees relied on back gardens for their own survival.

Those lawns were mowed weekly, every two weeks and every three weeks, with tests afterwards to test how the bees responded to the different timeframes.

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The study showed that the number of bee species and the number of lawn flowers were up to 2.5 times higher when lawns were mowed every two weeks.

Researchers said that cutting the grass more often destroyed dandelions and clover, which those insects use and need for the pollen.

The study showed that cutting the grass every week, and also once every three weeks, were both less effective than mowing every two weeks, with the average number of bees lower for the three-week span despite the diversity of bee species being higher.