Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #9 Dandelion and Pollinator Bees

Here’s another flower we underestimate, along with the daisy, because it is so commonly seen. Yet imagine if these great golden flowers were rare? We would no doubt spend hours trying to cultivate them!

Dandelions‘ peak flowering period is from March to May and they are a crucial lifeline for bees searching for food as they awake from hibernation, in the case of queen bumblebees for example, or emerge from their underground nest chambers as solitary bees do.

Dandelion and solitary bee on newly exposed limestone at "Scrub Field".

Dandelion and solitary bee on newly exposed limestone at “Scrub Field”.

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Dandelions can also be eaten by people, as food or medicine. The leaves are especially good (in small quantities) blanched in salads and the flowers can be a colourful addition too. The roots when dried make a herbal coffee. As you may see in the photo above, someone, or something, has been nibbling at the tasty nutritious petals of this flower already …

We are gradually becoming more aware of how important wild areas are for our own food supply, as places for bees and other pollinators to grow, raise offspring and complete their life-cycles. By providing early nectar, common flowers such as dandelions are vital links in our food chain too.

Solitary Bee on Blisworth Limestone at Bradlaugh Fields, Northampton

Solitary Bee on Blisworth Limestone at Bradlaugh Fields, Northampton

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