British Columbia

Lawn full of dandelions a good thing, says bee expert

Julia Common, chief beekeeper for Hives for Humanity, calls dandelions "nirvana for the pollinators” because they are the first source of nectar for bees at this time of year.

Julia Common, chief beekeeper for Hives for Humanity, calls dandelions "nirvana for the pollinators”

Julia Common, chief beekeeper for Hives for Humanity, stopped by CBC Vancouver, and brought two jars of dandelion honey to show off. (Liam Britten/CBC)

Got an unruly, overgrown lawn full of dandelions?

Well, B.C.'s bees thank you for that — even if your neighbours might not.

Julia Common, chief beekeeper for Hives for Humanity, a group that advocates for wild bees, says dandelions are important for the local ecosystem because they are the first source of nectar for bees at this time of year.

"For the native pollinators, the dandelion is a source of protein. It's pollen and nectar," Common told On The Coast guest host Gloria Macarenko. "It's nirvana for the pollinators."

Common says homeowners with a lawn should consider waiting until the bees have stopped visiting their dandelions before mowing.

"You'll see beetles, butterflies, bumblebees, all sorts of insects on the dandelions. Perhaps give it a week or two, or set your mower a little bit higher and maybe miss those dandelions," she said.

"You could put up a sign for your neighbours if they think you're a messy homeowner and say this is actually a pollinating lawn, I'm feeding the bees."

So while you may take some flack for it, Common says it's worth it to help out the bees.

With files from On The Coast


To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: Dandelions are the bee's knees, says local bee expert

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