In the early spring, honey bee colonies begin to build-up their population with the hope of having a perfect storm of circumstances that will allow them to swarm. The event we call “swarming,” which might better be described as “dividing,” is how honey bees reproduce. One colony becomes two!
One of the things needed by a honey bee colony, in order to create that opportunity to reproduce, is the presence of nectar and pollen in the early spring. Dandelions are a first food for honey bees in the spring, and not only provide the resources to potentially divide, but may also be the source of food that keeps a colony from starving as they deplete their winter stores.
Please, please, please do not poison your dandelions. That not only kills that critical first food for the honey bees, it kills the bees themselves. Bees that visit those dandelions can carry that poisoned nectar and pollen back to the hive, thus affecting the entire colony.
If you have dandelions in places you don’t want them, please wait until they are through blooming and then dig them up before they go to seed.
But, better yet, change your mind about dandelions! How much better if we start considering dandelions a flower rather than a weed. Enjoy what the earth is doing to care for itself by providing that critical first food for honey bees in the early spring.