Once again, the Riverside Landscape Advisory Commission is spreading questionable information, this time about pollinators (“No Mow May gets a test run in Riverside,” News, April 5).
Bee City USA has a catchy name but its information on pollinators is not particularly accurate and not corroborated by apian research at our universities.
Riverside residents who want to help pollinators should ignore No Mow May despite the populist appeal of benefiting pollinators by not mowing. “No mow” has been effectively debunked by scientific data in several articles which a quick Google search will list.
If residents really want to help pollinators survive, “No Blow Fall and Spring” would be very helpful. Admittedly, as a slogan lacking rhyme, it doesn’t have much appeal. Bees and other native pollinators lay their eggs in the fall in leaf debris, plant stalks and other plant detritus.
Fall and spring yard cleanups effectively destroy this habitat. So, there are very few pollinators left by May and weeds like dandelions encouraged by “no mow” provide a poor-quality pollen.
If residents want to participate in a “no mow” program, “No Mow March and April” would at least benefit their lawns and a healthy lawn is the best defense against pesky weeds.
Better sites for science-based information on pollinators are illinoispollinators.org and ipollinate.illinois.edu.
Jacquelyn Paine, master gardener
Univ. of Illinois Extension