Connexus Energy, located in Minnesota, has found a new solution for our troubled bees: planting wildflowers below solar panels; the power of the sun helping attract the delicate pollinators.
This unique initiative is helping increase food supply for pollinators, while providing a smart alternative to the otherwise use of wood chips or gravel that would normally lay below a solar farm. The difference in planting wildflowers holds minimal financial effect, and will in the long-term be a huge saver for our bees and butterflies. Two beekeepers, Travis and Chiara Bolton of St. Paul, Minnesota, will remain onsite to tend to the hives providing 600 jars to Connexus and selling the remaining jars.
Due to the brilliance of the project, Maryland has passed standards based on Minnesota’s solar and pollinator project, and are now pitching to states such as Wisconsin and Iowa to take on similar projects.
“Healthy food for bees always seems to be dwindling,” said Travis. “That’s why this is an ideal partnership.”
“The more solar arrays with pollinator habitat around them, the bigger the benefit for all our bees,” Chiara said. “It’s not the full solution, but it’s a great start.”