With spring right around the corner, many gardeners are already antsy to begin planting their favorites. However, part of this process includes weeding and removing dandelions from their garden.
While it may be tempting to remove all of the dandelions from your yard or garden, experts warn it’s not the best thing to do, especially for the bees. One expert, John Molseed explains it pretty well by saying,
“The flowers are an important food source for pollinators — especially bees,” he stated because dandelions can give bees both pollen and nectar, which they need.
And they are especially necessary as spring begins, because the additional flowers, which will be available to the bees later to supplement their diet, don’t begin growing until later.
As the bees begin to emerge from hibernation, they are quite hungry. In the first few days of hibernation, they seek out any food they can get their mouths on. For those who begin cutting their grass quite early in spring, be wary not to run over those little yellow flowers, which can be quite beneficial for the bees.
While speaking with the Guardian, Professor Jane Memmott explained, “If dandelions were rare, people would be fighting over them. Because they’re common, people pull them out and spray them off and do all sorts of horrible things. Just let them flower.”
She also makes another great point by saying, “You can’t personally help tigers, whales, and elephants, but you really can do something for the insects, birds, and plants that are local to you.”
And I couldn’t agree more.
In modern times most people consider dandelions to be a pesky weed, but once upon a time, as the Associated Press notes, people would dig up their grass to provide more space for dandelions.
Over time, however, people have become more and more obsessed with keeping a perfectly manicured lawn, which has created a $15 billion per year industry for pesticides and fertilizers.
I prefer a more Bohemian kept lawn, that isn’t perfect, but isn’t out of control either. I love springtime because all of the beautiful wildflowers are such a precious sight to behold. So, it won’t be much of a problem for me to allow them to grow, especially knowing it will help the bees, who need all the help they can get!