Borders for the B’s — Bees, Birds and Butterflies — is designed to make it easy for all landowners to participate in the revival of the South’s most revered wildlife — its bobwhite quail and grassland songbirds, the monarchs that once traveled in orange clouds across the South, and the hundreds of species of native bees and bumblebees that are so important to producing the South’s favorite fruits and flowers.
And it helps fill the gaping hole in Southeastern landscape conservation: How do we repair the damage done by the loss of 95% of longleaf pine forests and and other native grasslands — more than 100 million acres of the region’s most important bird, bee, butterfly and wildflower habitats? The forests that replaced it are often dark thickets incapable of supporting wildflowers and the Three B’s that depend on them. Our pastures and fields, once welcoming habitat for quail, butterflies and other wildlife, are now managed like golf courses, mowed so frequently that no wildflower or forage can survive.
Borders for the B’s recognizes that the biggest restoration impact is made on private lands. And with little trouble on only a small portion of land, interested landowners can dramatically increase their own wildlife experience while bolstering bird, bee and butterfly populations across the South.
The key is in making a small portion of our pastures hospitable again to the Three Bs, as they were during the days when quail whistled as we harvested the hay, and droves of bumblebees and butterflies scoured the field rows for nectar and pollen. Simply by skipping some of the mowing on strips of pasture within 5 to 15 yards of fence and road borders, wildflowers and wildlife numbers will increase dramatically, not only on individual properties, but throughout the South.
Don’t believe it could be that simple? Let’s talk.