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Minnesota earmarked $900,000 in its state budget for bee-friendly spaces and will use the money to pay residents for turning their lawns into such spaces by planting flowers to attract bees.

Flowers such as creeping thyme and dutch white clover will attract bees such as the rusty-patched bumblebee, which pollinates apples and tomatoes. This type of bee is on the brink of extinction and is barely hanging on in Upper Midwest cities.

The state’s Board of Water and Soil Resources will reimburse homeowners for 75-90 percent of the cost for converting lawns into bee-friendly spaces and to have a yard with a diverse set of flowers, plants, and shrubs. The Minnesota legislature had proposed other measures to protect pollinators, such as banning certain pesticides that play a role in declining bee populations, but such efforts have proved ineffective.

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