Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 39
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    792

    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
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,200

    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,492

    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    792

    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!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    792

    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
    398

    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
    3,701

    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?

    20140412_132634.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10

    Default Re: What's the fuss about dandelions?

    Dandlions give nectar only with higher ambient temperatures, say 16-18 degree Celsius. That is the problem with dandelions here right now, too. Plenty of it, but temperatures are just a little too low. We have some sunny weather underway, so hope for a decent dandelion flow is not buried yet.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Springfield, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: What's the fuss about dandelions?

    I haven't seen bees on dandelions in the spring, but I do see them in summer. In my area for the past couple of years the maple (several types), willow and henbit (in protected areas) have come out first.
    Pete. New 2013, 7 hives, zone 6a
    To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    843

    Default Re: What's the fuss about dandelions?

    I keep the dandelions out of my yard, the neighbors provide more than my bees can handle.

    Tom

  13. #13

    Default Re: What's the fuss about dandelions?

    Brad, I'm down here near Montgomery and the dandilions start showing up here when the henbit starts to bloom in mid February. I've noticed the bees definitely go to the dandilions for their pollen before they'll go to the henbit. However, once the red maples, early fruit trees and other more tasty flowering plants start blooming in early March, I don't see them anywhere near the dandilions.
    Started beekeeping in 2013 and having a blast with my 9 small cell hives!!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,217

    Default Re: What's the fuss about dandelions?

    They are not only an EARLY source of nectar and pollen, but one that comes back everytime it rains, so they fill a lot of gaps. I plant them all the time...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,101

    Default Re: What's the fuss about dandelions?

    If dandelion nectar is water thin they were bringing in a ton of it Saturday - by late afternoon it was everywhere.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,393

    Default Re: What's the fuss about dandelions?

    The Champlain valley has a huge dandelion bloom, and I've seen 50 pound honey crops from it.




  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Wake Forest, NC, USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: What's the fuss about dandelions?

    When I first arrived in North America, I used to think dandelions were "pretty little flowers." They peppered our yard. Then I learned they were weeds. Now that I know bees like them, they might once again be pretty little flowers.
    Victoria Primicias | ARTECERA Beeswax Paintings

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    butler, ga. united states
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: What's the fuss about dandelions?

    brad, i don't see bees on dandelions very often either, i think it's a timing thing. last year my bees didn't work my blackberries but this year they worked them like crazy for a week or so. now clover is coming in and they aren't hitting the blackberries nearly as hard even though there are more in bloom now than there were a couple of weeks ago. clover is running late this year so i'm guessing blackberries were the best choice at the time.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    792

    Default Re: What's the fuss about dandelions?

    I will keep a check more closely early next spring. It seems though that dandelions are not our first flowers to bloom. Maples bloom before they do and the bees here seem to love Maples.

    MP, I have never seen any field that remotely had that large a number of dandelions.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    international falls, Mn
    Posts
    223

    Default Re: What's the fuss about dandelions?

    Love the pictures Birdie...It's amazing that bee, can even see, with all that pollen on its face..lol..
    As a kid in mid summer, I used to catch bees in a fruit jar in the dandilion patches, seems to me it was really hot then..

    ==McBee7==

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads