a plea for dandelions from the honeybee
On a bright spring day, we can see our bees out foraging for needed food. And one wonders what they can find now, for the fruit trees have not yet budded out and most flowering plants do not show their beauty until summer. The humble dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is the Spring flower of choice for honey bees, bumble bees and carpenter bees.
Dandelions provide one of the first sources of pollen (protein) and nectar (future honey) for honeybees in early Spring. We adore seeing the brilliant yellow dots on the greening-up lawn. But we are in the minority, for most homeowners want their lawn to be not only a flat plane of green, but also demand that it be weed free, and the dandelion stands at the top of their hit list.
We ask you to please refrain from pulling up (or worse, using herbicides on) the dandelions, and instead offer them up to foraging honeybees. And by the way, once the yellow dandelion flowers start to wither away, there remain delectable and nutritious dandelion greens that make for a great salad.
PS—If you need more evidence, browse the world wide web in a search for bees + dandelions, and be prepared for a good long read.