Saturday, March 29, 2014
If you really want to help honey bees...
I have been seeing bees for over a month now. They have been gathering pollen from the early blooming trees: maple, elm, poplar, and willow. Pollen provides protein for growing bee larva, but does not provide energy for flying bees. Early in the season, that still comes from the sugar stored as honey.
Some of the early bulbs give a little nectar and I am sure the bees manage to find a bit here and there in the wild. The most important time for nectar is when the dandelions start blooming. Dandelions are rich in pollen, but they are also rich in early nectar. This early nectar helps honey bees fuel long flights while searching for later nectar flows, as well as fuel the growth of spring bee populations.
Dandelions are also markers for when the fruit trees and other early bloomers start producing. But you should never forget that dandelions are a major source of bee energy all by themselves.
If you care about bees, stop killing dandelions!