We love all pollinators here at Honey & the Hive, not just our beloved honey bees! As autumn sets in and the leaves start changing, we ask you to consider the wild pollinators and "leave the leaves" that fall in your yard.
I know it is tempting to tidy up the garden once the spent blooms of summer are drooping and the leaves start to fall from the beautiful trees, but we ask you to try tolerating the "mess" of an unkempt yard for a while longer.
Our yards aren't just our own little patches of heaven - they are part of an ecosystem that we share with insects, animals, birds, and native plant friends.
Dried leaves and hollow plant stems are the food, homes, and nesting places for beneficial insects like leafcutter and mason bees, luna moths, wooly bear caterpillars, and butterflies. A nice blanket of falling leaves makes the underground slumber of solitary bees much warmer.
Ideally, you can leave the leaves to rest where they fall and let nature have its way. If you insist on raking up leaves, pile them around your trees or in an out-of-the-way place in your yard instead of bagging, shredding, or burning them.
Instead of deadheading flowers at the end of the season, let some of them stay and go to seed so the birds have an extra food source. Leave dead flowers standing tall - those hollow stems make perfect spots for beneficial insects to lay eggs or hibernate.
Make your ecosystem stronger and share your space with the creatures that live with you. Let the wild in!
Bee City USA - Leave the Leaves: These Invertebrae Depend on It.
Xerxes.org - Leave the Leaves