Wanna keep Lynchburg bees happy? Leave the dandelions alone this spring

Beekeepers remind locals that dandelions serve as crucial food sources for Lynchburg honey bees during the transition from winter to spring. (File Photo)

OUTDOOR NEWS — We depend on bees to pollinated everything from the homegrown tomatoes they sell at the Lynchburg Farmers Market to the Dennison’s strawberry fields to the hay that feeds local cattle. No bees, no food. It’s that simple.

Each spring, dandelions pop up around Moore County. Many a fickle gardener considers the common yard “weed” a nuisance but if you want to help honey bees and other pollinators, it might be best to let them thrive … at least for awhile.

A native of Europe, the common dandelion is a member of the sunflower family known to produce significant amounts of nectar and pollen. They are important to honeybees because they are often the last wildflower to die in the winter and the first one to bloom in the spring. Bees, which only fly on days when the temperature rises above 50 degrees, hibernate during colder months and depend on dandelions at times when their honey stores may be desperately low.

Local beekeepers say there’s a simple way to help honey bees as we transition from winter to spring … leave dandelions alone … at least until other wildflowers and pollen sources have had a chance to grow. This will keep the Lynchburg bees happy, which is a good thing for all of us. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

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