WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – If you’ve had to mow recently, you may have seen several dandelions popping up in your yard.
Experts say these pesky weeds provide that first vital source of pollen early in the spring.
“Even though dandelions’ pollen is not the best pollen, it is still a necessary source of pollen for the queen bee,” Jane Kill, with the South Central Kansas Honey Producers Association, said.
Many beekeepers, like Wesley Wolken, say the dandelions this year are even more crucial for bees in the Wichita area.
“The problem this year was the late freeze, and it really took away a lot of the tree nectars that we would normally get at this time,” Wolken said.
But depending on where you live, those dandelions could cost you.
“Depending on the HOA, ‘cuz there’s some HOA’s that it doesn’t matter—it could be 2-300 dollars, there are some legal aspects that we have gone to, but that’s kind of a last resort,” Jim Stauffer with the Aberdeen HOA said.
Many pesticides can hurt bees, but when it comes to herbicides, it’s not necessarily the bees themselves that are impacted, but their larvae instead.
“The eggs, I’ll find them, they’ll die, they feed it to the babies, and then the next day they bring ’em out,” Wolken said.
Experts say if those dandelions must go, get rid of them early.
“Use things that you can disperse low to the ground, do it in the evening when there’s low, low wind and it goes directly onto the lawns,” Wolken said.
Experts say there are also several alternatives you can plant, such as Bee Balm or fruit trees just be sure to check your HOA guidelines first.