Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Dandelions: Underappreciated but crucial for bees and insects

Ah, springtime in Britain—a vibrant tapestry of flowers, from the delicate snowdrops to the cheerful daffodils to the stunning bluebells. But amidst this floral symphony, there’s one unsung hero—the humble dandelion. Have you noticed how they transform roadside verges into seas of yellow, only to later sprinkle the landscape with their delicate ‘clock’ seedheads?

It’s a shame that wildflowers are disappearing due to farming and development. People often overlook their importance, dismissing them as weeds. Yet, these very plants are crucial for bees and insects. Even disliked flowers like dandelions and ivy play a vital role in sustaining our ecosystem1Ratnieks, Francis, and Nick Balfour. 2023. ‘Ivy, Dandelions and Other Common Wildflowers Are Often Seen as Weeds – but They’re a Crucial Resource for Pollinating Insects’, The Conversation <https://theconversation.com/ivy-dandelions-and-other-common-wildflowers-are-often-seen-as-weeds-but-theyre-a-crucial-resource-for-pollinating-insects-210813> [accessed 6 March 2024].

Perhaps instead of disregarding them, we should embrace the wildflowers already growing around us. They’re not only free and readily available but also essential for pollinators. Plus, some of these so-called “weeds” have hidden benefits for us, like delicious blackberries.

By protecting existing wildflowers, we’re not only helping bees thrive but also reconnecting with the natural world—a win-win situation for both us and our buzzing friends!







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