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Leave the Leaves..Save the Bees!

Fall Yard Clean-up, Necessary?

A lot of people expend a lot of time and energy in raking up leaves from lawns into piles and then hauling them off. Lawns can tolerate a thin layer of leaves but thick layers should be removed.

But, people also remove leaves at the edge of yards that might be under perennial flowers or bushes or leaf piles that have been accumulating. Time to look at these areas like little ecosystems well worth preserving.

A thick layer of leaves provides perfect habitat for overwintering bumblebee queens. Bumblebee nests only last for one season so at the end of the summer queens for the following year are produced. Not only to overwintering bumblebee queens take advantage of this but also a number of other players. Wooly bear caterpillers, pupae of Luna moths and swallowtail butterflies, red banded hairstreak eggs and more!

Other creatures that make their living in leaf litter are a variety of mites, springtails, millipedes, worms and more. They are part of Mother Nature’s recycling committee breaking down the leaves and returning nutrients to the soil.

So if your neighbor thinks you are just being lazy by not raking and disposing of leaves tell them that you are a preserver of a unique ecosystem.

If you have any questions or want more tips on making your yard and garden more pollinator-friendly, reach out to County Entomologist, Larry Dapsis, at  #508-375-6642.  Enjoy your fall.