‘No Mow May': Hartford Neighborhood Creates a Better Environment for Bees

More than a dozen Hartford West End residents are letting their lawns grow freely for the month of May, and it's in an effort to create a better environment for the bees.

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It’s the kind of Connecticut neighborhood known for its historic homes and charm.

“Before the pandemic, there were roving cocktail parties and block parties and things like that, I’ve only heard about them,” Cynthia Wolcott said.

Now, there’s a new movement making a buzz in Hartford’s West End.

“I said, 'Yep I’ll take one' and then another member of the association actually dropped it off and put it right there,” Wolcott said.

More than a dozen neighbors are letting their lawns grow freely for the month of May. They’ve posted signs asking to forgive the weeds, for the bees.

“So many people think it’s unsightly and try to dig them out with those special weeding tools. I’ve always kind of loved them [bees],” Wolcott said.

Wolcott is leaving her mower stowed away in support of the mission to create a better environment for the pollinators.

According to the Sierra Club, a quarter of native bee species in North America are at risk of extinction. The nonprofit said springtime is crucial for bees and letting lawn flowers like dandelions, clover and violets bloom leaves more food for bees at a time when food is scarce.

“We celebrate the bees now every night,” Nancy Kennedy said.

Kennedy has been letting her yard get a little hairy for the cause, as best she can.

“Alright, I have to admit, our landscaper disregarded the sign last week and so he actually mowed our lawn inadvertently,” Kennedy said.

A neighborhood committed to the cause of letting things bee.

The Sierra Club said you can call your city or homeowners association to determine what rules are in place.

If your community hasn’t adopted No Mow May, but you still want to participate, try laying off the mower until your grass reaches your community’s maximum allowed grass height. This will allow flowers to bloom for at least a little while.

You can also obtain free, print-at-home yard signage from the Xerces Society.

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