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So I been watching, friends have been watching, family has been watching and no one has actually seen a honey bee on a dandelion. So whats up? Has the American Society for Dandelion Preservation falsely convinced the entire beekeeping community that honeybees love dandelion nectar/pollen? Here in northern VT, the dandelions have been in bloom for about a week and I have yet to see the importance of or, attraction to, dandelions by honeybees. Thoughts anyone? Factual not anecdotal please.
 

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I have found many bees visiting dandelions, and you can tell if they have by the bright orange pollen they carry back from them. They don't stay long, and it appears the flowers only produce nectar for a short period during the day. Bees all over them mid morning, none later.

And they will ignore dandelions if there is anything else around. My friend has been watching his (he's a southern boy, relocated a couple years ago to indiana) and wondered why they were completely ignoring a couple acres of white dutch clover. Black locust is in bloom, and they won't even inspect anything else so long as it is. Fabulous stuff, black locust nectar -- copious amounts, high sugar content, and widely available around here.

Down south the bees tend to miss the black locust flow (or the trees don't make as much nectar, perhaps) as they don't do much with it.

Peter
 

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Haha I hear you I was thinking the same thing this year. Then tonight just before dusk I watched a solitary honey bee tongue out in the flower hit up several in a row then take off.

If we could save just one bee's life... then I won't be able to mow my lawn for several weeks :)

I agree with psfred. I think there is better stuff available.
 

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Yep, bees work the dandelions here just fine, It needs to be warm enough, and yes the pollen is orange, as far as I can tell. I don't know if they get any nectar from them, maybe if it's warm enough, but they do get pollen for sure. Nectar is made by flowers according to temps, and pollen comes earlier, before the temps are as high as needed for nectar, on many flowering plants.
 

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Honeybees work the dandelions here in Northeast PA starting in the early afternoon. I purposely watched the blooms for bee activity this past weekend while working in the bee yard and in the garden. They started hitting them around lunch time. perhaps there is an optimum temperature for the nectar to begin flowing in the blossom?

Wayne
 

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My bees are all about the Dandies sometimes two bees at a time. there is a giant purple flower bush my bees do not touch, it does help that there is 50 bumbell bees on the bush at any given time. My dad ask why my bees are not going for it i told him the bees go for what has better value to them, am i correct to say that?
 

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Our bees came out of apple,pears and cherries heavy. Many had comb drawn in feeders full of dandelion honey. Has a bitterness to it.
 

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My yard is always full of dandelions. For the past four years I have been watching them to see when the bees gather nectar or pollen. I hardly ever find a bee on the dandelions - until this year (year 5) For the past two weeks, I believe every dandelion has had bee on it. I have never seen so much orange-yellow pollen being brought to the hives.
Charlie
 

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My entrance reducers are choked down to only allow three bees at a time coming or going. The landing board almost looks as if someone sprayed fluorescent paint on the landing board in front of the holes. The yards are FULL of dandelions. Some pollen must be dropping off as they enter.
 

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If you put sugar syrup out in the middle of dandelions the bees will fly right over it all day. Just want the pollen from what I see.
 

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The trend that I have noticed is they hit them in early spring. Mainly because that's the only thing blooming. Then as soon as the apricots pop, they leave them alone. When the apricots are done they go back to them until plums, or apples open up then they ignore them until the rest of the fruit trees are done. Then they go after them again with other floral sources until the alfalfa bloom hits.
 

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My dad ask why my bees are not going for it i told him the bees go for what has better value to them, am i correct to say that?
Often it also has to do with the length of the flower. If the bee tongue is too short it will ignore the flower. BBee have a much longer tongue.
 

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So I been watching, friends have been watching, family has been watching and no one has actually seen a honey bee on a dandelion. So whats up? Has the American Society for Dandelion Preservation falsely convinced the entire beekeeping community that honeybees love dandelion nectar/pollen? Here in northern VT, the dandelions have been in bloom for about a week and I have yet to see the importance of or, attraction to, dandelions by honeybees. Thoughts anyone? Factual not anecdotal please.
It's too early. Wait a while longer and when the dandelions are right bees will come.
 

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Our bees were all over the dandies beside the fishpond while they bloomed. They have all gone to seed over the last couple of days.
 

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Yesterday while hunting morels, I saw one bee visit the only dandelion in my garden. The dandelions are just starting up this way.
 

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The day we installed our nucs, while the rest were admiring their new home, this little girl went out and worked over the dandelions, petal by petal.

Crop032.jpg
 

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they're on them in my neck of the woods. there may be something else in your area that is providing a better source of pollen/nectar right now. i can tell you that when they popped here, feed consumption went way down in hives that were being fed.
 
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