'No Mow May' movement aims to help pollinators flourish, will it catch on here?

'No Mow May' is catching on in some parts of the country [Rob Mentzer / Wisconsin Public Radio]
'No Mow May' is catching on in some parts of the country [Rob Mentzer / Wisconsin Public Radio]
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Let's face it, a lot of folks have an aversion to bees. That potential sting is a cause for fright to many, and the buzzing, much like the common fly, can be considered a nuisance.

But there's so much more to the humble bee than that stinger or that jar of honey in your pantry.

In 2014 President Obama, called for a countrywide assessment of the nation's pollinators, in response to growing awareness of their economic importance, and recent declines in their numbers worldwide.

For some context, it is reported that bees, through pollination, contributed an estimated 11% of the nation's agricultural gross domestic product in 2009. Bees, by some counts, help pollinate 80 percent of flowering plants and three/quarters of the fruits, vegetables, and nuts grown domestically.

Putting that into economic perspective, experts say pollinators generate $50 billion a year in U.S. crops.

But the bad news is bee populations are on the decline. Climate change trends, habitat destruction, and farming trends like mono-cropping and intense pesticide usage are wreaking havoc on bee populations.

The honeybee population decreased 40% in the winter of 2018 to 2019 alone. Ohio beekeepers reportedly lost 50 to 80 percent of their honeybees this past winter according to the state Department of Agriculture.

There are some new movements afoot to address that decline. One that's gaining some traction, is 'no mow May', which started in the U.K, but has taken root in the upper Midwest as well now.

So to imagine the pesky weeds in your neighbor's yard might actually be there on purpose, to serve a purpose.

That's the subject of the first half of today's show. Then stay with us as later on we'll hear from Chuck Klosterman, best-selling author and former Akron Beacon Journal writer.

He's just released a new book, ‘The Nineties’ and will be appearing in Northeast, Ohio tonight. The book looks at the decade, he argues, to end all decades. When network television ruled, the internet was in its infancy, and with that – we controlled technology more than it controlled us.

Guests: 

- Sheila St. Clair, Owner, Queen Right Colonies; Greater Cleveland Beekeepers Association
- Robert Mentzer, Reporter, Wisconsin Public Radio
- Chuck Klosterman, Author "The Nineties"
- Drew Maziasz, Producer, Ideastream Public Media

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