With pollinator numbers dropping around the United States, some homeowners will leave dandelions in their yard saying they’re trying to help the honeybees with a source of food. While their intentions may be good, the Washington state Department of Agriculture said dandelions are not the best for bees.


The WSDA’s Katie Buckley stated dandelions lack many of the acids and minerals honeybees need for a balanced diet. And she said the best way you can help honeybees and other pollinators is by planting a variety of flowers. Buckley noted a variety of colors, sizes, bloom schedules will make your property attractive, and every little bit helps.

“People’s yards, people’s small properties, when added up together really make up a large area, and if all of those people were creating habitat for pollinators, we probably wouldn’t be pollinator deficit right now.  People don’t need to become a beekeeper and own hives to be able to help honeybees, they really just need to plant more flowers and spray fewer pesticides.”

Buckley added those living in apartments or small lots can help with potted plants. She added the average honey bee will travel up to two miles in search of pollen. She said the agriculture industry is working on many of the pollinator issues, but she said the non-farming community plays a role as well.

“It’s also something homeowners can do too.  It’s going to take all of us making small changes sometimes, overtime, to really get where everyone and everything around us are doing healthier.”

Buckley added if you’re not a fan of the maintenance required for flowers, trees and shrubs can help pollinators.

Click Here for additional tips and ideas from the WSDA.

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