Dandelions are not evil — butterflies love them

I spent many an hour in my youth digging dandelions out of our yard (that was before RoundUp’s toxicity was the cure to everything). Altho preserving them for wine never appealed, I find this article’s emphasis on providing butterfly habitat more more appealing.

https://www.countryliving.com/uk/wildlife/countryside/a30746964/dandelions-helping-bees/

Don’t pull out dandelions in your garden as they can help to save the bees

They provide a great source of food for pollinators

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By Lisa Walden Feb 3, 2020 Bee on dandelion proxyminderGetty Images

People should avoid pulling out dandelions in their gardens in order to save the bees, the experts at the British Ecological Society have found.

Dandelions — which will begin flowering early next month — are rich in both pollen and nectar, providing a great source of food for pollinators. Each bright yellow head contains around 100 individual flowers, meaning bees, butterflies and hoverflies flock to them, feasting on their goodness.

With spring on its way, bees will be emerging from hibernation hungry, on the hunt for food. If you’re planning on cutting your grass over the next few weeks, the experts recommend leaving the yellow flowers to bloom — because grass filled with dandelions is far better for bees than a weed-free one.

More from Country Living

6 garden herbs that are like rocket fuel to bees

Professor Jane Memmott told The Guardian: “If dandelions were rare, people would be fighting over them. Because they’re common, people pull them out and spray them off and all sorts of horrible things. Just let them flower.”

Jane also explained that Brits should avoid planting traditional British flowers, such as Dahlias and old English roses, because they don’t provide enough pollen for bees. They might be visually pretty, but we want our gardens to be a haven for wildlife. Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

“As a rule, if you can see the pollen and nectar parts of a flower without pulling back petals, then it’s OK for pollinators,” she continued.

Close-Up Of Bee Pollinating On Yellow Dandelion

Zelma Brezinska / EyeEmGetty Images

“You can’t personally help tigers, whales and elephants but you really can do something for the insects, birds and plants that are local to you.”

Heading into the garden? Remember to keep those dandelions…

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