Dandelions are fantastic for early season pollinators and are bound to help the ecosystem.
If you're someone who wants to help the bees and increase their population, then ecologists are suggesting that you learn to "love the weeds" and just leave the dandelions alone this coming spring, according to Good News Network. As she starts her role as the new president of the oldest ecological society in the world, Jane Memmott reminded everyone last week that working to live in harmony with nature can be as simple as keeping your lawn pollinator-friendly. "While we can’t all protect tigers and elephants, every single one of us can support the natural world through acts as small as simply letting the grass grow," says Jane Memmott, the new president of the British Ecological Society.
The professor admitted she mows around the dandelions and buttercups when she cuts her grass. “Think about what you’ve had for breakfast,” she began. The pumpkin seeds in your muesli, apples, whatever made the marmalade on your toast, or even the coffee beans and tea leaves that make up your morning cuppa—all of these products rely on pollinators to survive and thrive.”
“This whole business of keeping your lawn clipped and pulling the weeds out is part of some British obsession with tidiness," she added, stating that this whole obsession of keeping your lawn spick and span is plain fussiness. Basically, the choice of plants that you have in your garden can make a world of a difference as it can impact your local ecology. Memmott explains a few general rules for planting pollinators.
She first mentions that one should “learn to love weeds,” and then to avoid planting too many pom pom-shaped flowers as it focuses too much energy into petal production and not enough into producing nectar and pollen. She says that any plant with nectar and pollen parts that you can see without pulling back the petals means that pollinators can see and use them too. “Dandelions are fantastic for early season pollinators. The UK has about 270 species of solitary bee and they love dandelions,” Memmott explains.
She later added that if they were rare, people would be fighting over them. Interacting with ecology in our everyday life can actually benefit people as well. A 2016 study found allotment owners had “significantly better self-esteem, total mood disturbance, and general health, experiencing less depression and fatigue and more vigor.” Another study found that a walk through some green space could boost people’s moods for up to seven hours.