Spring is an important time for bees and other pollinators. They awaken from their winter slumber and begin looking for food.

That means browsing early-season flowers like dandelions and starting the swarming process around their queen.

We may consider dandelions to be a nuisance weed, but they’re an important early springtime pollen source for bees and other insects, according to Carbondale beekeeper Mark Burrows.

He stressed the importance of avoiding pesticides use on dandelions.

A bee infected with pesticides can wipe out an entire hive.

Swarming is also common in the spring. That’s when a large mass of bees cluster on a tree or bush, and sometimes even under a car bumper.

Burrows noted that swarms don’t last long – sometimes just a few hours – and play an important role in keeping the hive healthy.

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