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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    799

    Default What's the fuss about dandelions?

    I have read umpteen posts about dandelions and bees relying on them as an early food source. I quit spraying our 1/4 mile long ditchbank and haven't sprayed my yard and there are dandelions everywhere. They've been blooming for a month or longer I guess. The neighbors yard is covered with them. The ditch bank across the road is covered with them. We've got them everywhere too. I have walked and looked and walked and looked. The next time I see a bee feeding on one, will be the FIRST time I see a bee feeding on one. I can only guess that dandelions are not a preferred food source for honeybees and we have something better in bloom. Opinions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    isanti, minnesota, USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: What's the fuss about dandelions?

    I think you need more bees so you can get better utilization of your dandelion crop.

    Quintin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    799

    Default Re: What's the fuss about dandelions?

    Quote Originally Posted by quilaho View Post
    I think you need more bees so you can get better utilization of your dandelion crop.

    I'm working on it!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,703

    Default Re: What's the fuss about dandelions?

    I'm quite a bit further north than you, and a lot of bee plants have/are blooming.

    The value of dandelions is the 'early' food source you mentioned. I'll bet there was a time earlier that little besides dandelions were blooming. Now that there are lots of other choices, dandelions may be 'just another face in the crowd'.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,567

    Default Re: What's the fuss about dandelions?

    Watch them bringing in pollen. The fluorescent orange stuff is dandelion, and you will see quite a bit of it. The pollen actually flies up off the flower onto the bees as they approach, the static electricity from flight attracts is. They did evolve together, after all.

    I don't know when the bees visit the dandelions though, it's possible they are mostly early morning.

    I see quite a bit of pollen coming in from them, even though I don't see bees on them much.

    Peter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    799

    Default Re: What's the fuss about dandelions?

    I will look for the flo orange pollen. I have a few frames that are almost solid pollen stores. Most of it is tan, grey, light yellow, with a red and bluish green scattered about. I think the tan is maple? and the red may be henbit, but I have NO idea what is green-blue. More green than blue but.... I find it fascinating too that the bees segregate the pollen per cell, according to color.

    They may have fed on the dandelions earlier but I didn't see any then either. LOL

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gainesboro, Tennessee, USA.
    Posts
    397

    Default Re: What's the fuss about dandelions?

    I'm our area brad we have other weeds that the bees prefer. We have loads of them. It is rare to see them on dandolions. If they need them they will use em.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,869

    Default Re: What's the fuss about dandelions?

    I used to think the same way, never saw bees on dandelions, but I found one year, that they only work some flowers at certain times of the day. I forget what time of day I saw them on dandelions, but they do work them. Maybe you are not seeing them at the right time of day?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: What's the fuss about dandelions?

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