If you want to add color to your garden, mums are your best bet. They come in different shades and hues, from white, purple, and orange to pink. Mums enthusiasts love them for their late blooming. When others have died out as seasons change, mums are left vibrant and thriving.
Given their bright colors, mums are eye-catching, even for the bees. Unfortunately, they produce very little nectar. As such, bees avoid them unless they are the only available source of pollen and nectar.
Do Mums Attract Bees?
Mums attract bees given their brilliant colors. Also known as chrysanthemums, mums are stunning flowering plants that bloom in late summer and are found in several varieties, including pink, yellow, orange, and even variegated.
They produce nectar and pollen, making them potential food sources for bees. However, they produce it in small quantities. Therefore, bees tend to avoid them. However, since pollination occurs in the flowers, bees and other insects are able to carry out pollination on mums when they land on them. This guarantees their propagation.
Mums also attract spiders which bees consider predators. As such, most bees won’t go near them. They’ll even avoid them by instinct. This is surprising, considering how colorful and eye-catching mums can be.
Do All Flowering Plants Attract Bees?
Not all flowering plants attract bees. The flower shape, size, color, and nectar guides lure the bees.
Bees generally prefer plants that produce both nectar and pollen. This is because pollen offers a source of protein, while nectar offers a source of sugar, providing a balanced diet for the bees.
Nectar guides are lines on the petals with UV patterns visible to bees and guide them toward the nectar.
Plants whose flowers come in white, pink, purple, yellow, orange, or blue are attractive to bees, while those that appear red tend to be avoided by bees.
Some factors that may cause bees to stay away from some flowering plants include:
- Foul odors, such as the pongapong flower in the Philippines, smell like rotting flesh.
- Sterile flowers. These do not have pollen or nectar; hence bees can not benefit from such flowers and tend to avoid them.
- Specialized flowers with a long tubular shape. These limit bees from accessing nectar and pollen grains. Bees tend to avoid them.
- Dark-colored flowers. Bees’ eyesight does not recognize red pigment and instead see it as black. As such, bees find them unappealing and avoid them.
Mums, having several color shades, will be desirable to bees.
Flowering Plants that Attract Bees
The best plants for bees are those that bloom for extended periods. Bees are attracted to fragrant and brightly colored flowers and those with single heads since they provide the most nectar.
Below we will look at some of the flowering plants that attract bees:
The Asteraceae family are perennial flowering plants that bloom in the late summer. These are attractive to bees due to their beautiful purple color.
These can be obnoxious weeds on your lawn but have bright yellow or white flowers, pollen, and nectar attracting bees.
They bloom throughout the year in warm areas but remain dormant through the winter.
Rose plants of the genus Rosa manifest as large or small flowers that bloom in early summer.
They are fragrant and beautiful flowers that come in shades of pink, white, yellow, or even crimson and easily attract bees.
They contain nectar and pollen that serves as a food source for bees, thereby attracting them.
These are hardy perennial herbs with white, pink, or purple flowers.
These flowers are very aromatic and contain large amounts of pollen and nectar, which attracts bees as a good food source.
These are common garden vine vegetable plants from the family Cucurbits.
They have large orange flowers that stand out in their environment and contain nectar and pollen grains that attract bees.
If you want to increase your income as a beekeeper, these are some of the flowers you need more of.
Flowering Plants That Don’t Attract Bees
Not all flowering plants attract bees. This can happen due to several things that may discourage bees from visiting those flowers.
Below are examples of some common flowering plants that bees avoid:
These are charming flowers that bloom all spring and summer. They are available in a wide assortment of colors but produce very little pollen, or nectar; hence do not attract bees.
2. The Cardinal flower
This plant does not attract bees due to its vibrant red flowers. These appear black and unappealing to bees which tend to avoid these flowers.
3. Red Dianthus
These perennial flowers appear in shades of red and produce very little pollen and nectar, making them unappealing to bees.
This is a perennial flowering plant that has flowers that produce a citrusy scent that bees hate and actively avoid.
This common plant contains a compound known as absinthe, which is toxic to insects.
Its pungent scent alerts bees of the potential danger, so they actively avoid it.
Does Lavender Attract Bees?
The answer to this is a resounding YES! Lavender attracts bees, so beekeepers plant it close to the hives to attract them.
Lavender is one of the best flowers for attracting bees because they have the ideal shape, color, scent, size, and nutritional content.
Lavender also contains a compound known as linalool that bees find attractive, giving it its characteristic fragrance.
Bees are also attracted to lavender because they can obtain significant amounts of nutrients, which they find helpful.
The violet color of the lavender flowers makes them stand out in their background and can be easily spotted by bees as they fly around.
The shape and size of their flowers make them suitable for the bees as feed. This is because the narrow petals curve away from the stem making access to nectar easy for the bees.
The flowers also form in clusters meaning the bees can easily forage from multiple flowers at once, making it more efficient.
Do Bees Like Marigolds?
Like most pollinators, bees like marigolds. This is because they are a great source of nectar and pollen, which is necessary for bee sustenance.
Nectar provides bees with sugars which give them the energy to forage and the raw material for honey production. As such, they’re good for when you want to increase the amount of honey you extract from your beehives.
The pollen provides protein for the bees, thereby giving them a balanced diet. They also use pollen for feeding the bee larvae.
The yellow color of marigold flowers attracts bees to them. Bees have good vision and can spot marigold flowers easily.
Though marigold emits an odor that repels other insects, the same odor attracts bees to it as they serve as vital pollinators for the marigold flower.
Not all flowering plants will attract bees; some are specialized to attract other pollinators, such as birds and butterflies, while others are simply unappealing to bees.
Learning about the flowers you wish to plant in your garden as a beekeeper. Some flowers, such as lavender, may attract bees, while others could discourage them.