P.E.I. beekeeper launches sign campaign to save dandelions and support bees
'Pardon the Weeds' sign can be used to explain to neighbours why you're not cutting your lawn
A P.E.I. beekeeper has developed a sign to encourage Islanders to delay cutting their lawns — and the dandelions that grow on them — to give bees more time to pollinate at a critical time in their spring development.
"It's the first abundant source of food for the bees in the springtime, until the clover comes out and the rest of the wildflowers," says Troy Fraser, who keeps bees and recently started a pollination service.
"It sets the stage for their development, for the queen to start laying her eggs and developing her nest … you need that foraging force, the numbers in the hive to really boost up, so they can actually pollinate quite well."
Fraser has a background in graphic design and came up with the image and slogan on the signs: Pardon the Weeds — we are feeding our bees.
The signs were printed with support from the town of Stratford and the Stratford Area Watershed, and distributed for free this weekend. The idea is for property owners to alert others nearby that they've left their lawn as is, on purpose.
"So the neighbours next to them can know why they're not cutting their grass, and letting the dandelions grow a bit," said Fraser.
He said putting up a sign might not seem important, but he believes it could make a difference.
"The more knowledge you have about something, the more you understand how you can help," said Fraser.
"With a little bit awareness as to why you probably shouldn't pick the dandelion and maybe let it just grow a little bit longer … just knowing that, that you're helping, is a big step right there."
Stratford officials say the project cost about $450 to support and they plan to do it again next year.