You can turn your manicured lawns into areas of Good Bee Food by planting up White Clover – it keeps your lawn green and the honey bees love it!
A recent study in America focused on one area of urban spread which is affecting the diverse foraging needs of pollinators – our manicured lawns, golf courses, roadsides and other managed turf-grass surfaces – if we add mono culture farmlands to this mix, it is clear that both our urban and rural environments need help developing and maintaining bee food diversity; critical to honey bee health.
Michelle Wisdom from the Arkansas Agricultural Research and Extension Centre, conducted research on flowering plants that can add season-long habitat for pollinating insects to warm-season turf-grass lawns. The result? Clover is great! Originating from SE Europe and part of SW Asia Minor, it has lovely pink or white flowers, and as a perennial plant tolerates poor or dry soils, while thriving when soil gets water logged. It’s a great nitrogen producer, leaving enough behind in the soil; grows from seed & spreads through a shallow root system.
It is attractive and low maintenance, gorgeously soft to walk on, offering a pleasant smell. For doggie lovers, it is immune to ‘dog patches’, the discoloration by female dog urine. Even better it needs no fertilizers, stays green all summer with little or no watering in most parts of SA. Relatively drought-tolerant, it will remain green until the first frost, and in winter rainfall areas, stay green all winter. White Clover is best planted in spring and summer.
There is no reason not to turn your gorgeous lawn into a lawn both you and your honey bees can enjoy!