CIRCLEVILLE – A well know yard pest, most people hate seeing this yellowed headed flower pop up in the beginning of spring. Lots of lawn care companies advertise the eradication of this unsightly plant, but did you know that dandelions have multiple uses one being the first source of food for honey bees?
“Dandelions are very important to beekeepers. They are one of our first nectar producing blooms that really gets the bees building up and headed in the right direction for building a big populous productive colony that will pollinate and make honey the rest of the year. For us, seeing the dandelions bloom is a happy time for beekeepers that have been pacing the house all winter” said Scioto valley Beekeepers.
Dandelions also is a source of a variety of nutrients and the leaves and root contain Vitamins (like A,C, K and B-vitamins) as well as minerals. The various parts of the plant have a long history of use as an herbal remedy, and every documented population in areas where it grows naturally has used it medicinally.
It also serves as an abundant natural food source, as all parts of the plant can be eaten. The root is often roasted and used in teas or consumed whole. The leaves make a great addition to salads or other dishes requiring greens and the flowers (while still yellow), can be eaten raw, cooked or even made into wine!
Dandelions can also be used as a coffee substitute, and is a natural dietetic.