Are Dandelions Good for the Bees? – South Mountain Bees

Are Dandelions Good for the Bees?

Honeybee on Dandelion Flower

Hi! This is Adriana.

It's already mid-February, and we are all looking forward to Spring, and with that comes the question of what to do to help the bees.
 
You know dandelions are just around the corner, and they are the first source of food for the bees after the long winter. There are, of course, winter hazel, snow drops, and other flowers that the bees like, but dandelions are the first significant source of food after the winter dearth.
 
So intuitively the first impulse is to leave the dandelions alone. But it is not so simple.
 
If you and your adjacent neighbors do not treat your shrubs, lawn, or trees, then you are good to go, and you can let the bees enjoy this most awaited feast.
 
However, if there are pesticides and fungicides anywhere near the dandelions, they will suck up these chemicals from the soil. Remember they have deep (annoying!) roots. Furthermore, any direct spray or drift will mix with the nectar on contact.
 
The bees will bring that contaminated nectar to the hive and feed it to their young, compromising the health of the colony.
 
So if that is the case, please mow them down to protect the bees.


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