Don't ditch the dandelion: Why there is a movement to keep the weed

Don't ditch the dandelion: Why there is a movement to keep the weed

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - From social media to naturalist's websites there is a movement trying to convince people to keep dandelions in your yard instead of using weed killers to take them out.

The dandelion is used in several ways including wine and salads but when it comes to bees, that's where the argument turns serious.

The US Department of Agriculture has been studying what is a declining honeybee population in the country. Most of it is blamed on a mite that lives on the bees and is killing them.

The idea of keeping dandelions won't kill the mites but it will leave the honeybees an early spring food source.

"Dandelions are a critical first food source for bees in early spring, when very few other options are available. Both honeybees and native bees (such as mason bees and bumblebees) depend on them for food," according to Laurie Neverman with "The Common Sense Home" website.

"A lot is written about how important dandelions are to the honey bee. Indeed, honey bees flock to dandelions both in the early spring and in times of dearth when little else is in bloom. But unlike some other pollen plants, dandelions are only a mediocre food source," according to an article from the website HoneyBeeSuite.

Several bee website are hoping you'll keep the yellow weed around, because healthy bees actually do a lot you may not think about.

"Bees play an important role in the production of many crops. If a crop makes fruit or a nut, odds are bees or other pollinators are involved. They've tried artificial methods to improve pollination, but bees do a much better job," Neverman said.

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