Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Weekly Roundup 16: Dandelion Season

April showers bring May flowers. And also dandelions aplenty. A few years ago, I started hearing about how important dandelions are for the bees, providing them with early season nutrition before other flowers and trees come into bloom. From this came the "No Mow May" movement, which encourages people to leave their lawns wild to help the pollinators get a good start.

Now, the prevailing opinion seems to be, well, dandelions are fine for bees if there's nothing else around, but they're not really a quality source of pollen and nectar. If you have other food sources for the pollinators, don't feel too bad about mowing your weeds. (Chemical poisons are another story, however. Please try avoid those.) But if the yellow dandelion flower is the only meal around, consider leaving a few for the bees.

I don't know who needs this, but dandelion seeds are available for purchase online.

Mayday vs. May Day: Mayday is an internationally recognized distress signal which comes from the French M'aidez, which means "help me". The May Day holiday is a melding of the ancient Celtic Beltane and Roman Floralia celebrations of spring. Traditional activities include exchanging flower baskets or wreaths and dancing around the may pole. It is also associated with the deadly Haymarket Riot in Chicago and subsequent criminal trials, which is definitely less cheery.

I hope your new month gets off to a great start! 

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