Minnesota lawmakers have just approved a new program that will compensate homeowners for planting bee-friendly greenery on their properties in an effort to boost honeybee populations, according to an article on the goodnewsnetwork.org.
According to the proposal, the state will allocate approximately $900,000 in state funding for the creation of honeybee habitat over the course of one year.
The funding will then be distributed to Minnesota homeowners who are seeking to transform their gardens and outdoor spaces into bee-friendly spaces. The program will encourage homeowners to plant specific grasses, wildflowers, clover, and food sources for the rusty patched bumblebee, a Midwestern pollinator that has reportedly been nearing the brink of extinction.
The state’s funding is expected to cover up to 75% of homeowners’ expenses for planting pollinator habitat. For regions that have been identified as “high potential” areas for honeybee habitat, the state may cover up to 90% of landscaping expenses.
Once the program is signed into effect by Gov. Tim Walz, the funding will be distributed by the state’s Board of Water and Soil Resources. Legislators are still determining the criteria for which a homeowner will qualify for compensation, but the program is expected to start distributing funding by spring 2020.