ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — There are nearly 100 species of bees in North East Florida and all them could use your help.
Beekeepers are encouraging homeowners to participate in a growing trend happening across the nation. All they have to do is not mow the lawn as much. Hence the movement "No Mow May", a trend that started in the United Kingdom.
In the First Coast, there are native bee hotels scattered around St. Johns County. Bo Sterk, a beekeeper, built the little red huts just for them.
Sterk said he is a master craftsman in the state of Florida.
"It's a true AirBNB," Sterk chuckled.
During Spring, the beekeeper said it's time to help the local pollinators. While a freshly cut lawn looks nice, it's actually cutting away food for bees. Sterk said not mowing the lawn encourages bees to come out and enjoy nectar from flowers. Most importantly, it encourages biodiversity.
To Sterk, without bees people would be eating rice and wheat.
"Which is pollinated by the wind," Sterk added. "So, there's not much out there that's not affected by a pollinator."
Sterk mentioned how bees in Florida are special. He said there are bees that contribute to growing blueberries and cucumbers.
The St. Augustine beekeeper said this is not an opportunity to leave one's lawn unkept. Instead, he suggested leaving a small section of 'prairie' in the backyard. According to PlantLife.Org, homeowners are encouraged to mow the lawn once every four weeks to boost nectar production.
"It's really a positive win-win," Sterk said.
In Jacksonville, don't mow for too long. If grass and weeds are taller than 15 inches, the COJ said it will declare it a public nuisance.