Why The Most Attractive Flowers To Us, May Not Be To Honey Bees

Have you ever noticed how bees may swarm to one particular type of flower in your yard or local park? Much like how us humans have preferences when it comes to food, so do bees! The difference is, their preferences aren’t just made on taste.


Touch
 

One of the key deciding factors for honey bees is ease of access to the nectar. Some people don’t like eating shellfish as they struggle to get to the inside meat, similarly, there are some flowers that bees struggle with when it comes to collecting nectar and pollen.

Bees prefer either flat flowers or tubular shaped flowers that they can walk into. Both of these shapes make it easy for the bees to access the good stuff inside!

Trumpet shaped flowers like amaryllis, while beautiful to us, aren’t quite as attractive to the honey bees. The nectar is hidden away and difficult to reach. We certainly aren’t suggesting you don’t plant these stunning plants, we’re just letting you know that there are other flowers that are much more appealing to bees.

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Vision

Glowing orange flowers, and radiant reds petals can brighten up even the dullest of yards but when it comes to bees - they’re not too keen on these colours.

Researchers have found that bees seem to prefer blue, yellow and purple flowers. So if you’re looking for bee-friendly flowers to plant, they’re the colours to go for!

Smell

Have you ever been followed by a bee? If so, take it as a compliment. Bees are attracted to pleasant scents. Flowers with a sweet smell attract many species of bee, including honey bees. However, flowers with a spicy or fruity odour aren’t a bee’s favourite. Other pollinators like beetles prefer plants with those smells.  

Electrical Charge?!

We’ve always known that bees are clever little souls, but did you know they can detect electrical charges from flowers!?

In studies, bees have been known to find the best flowers for them, due to the electrical charges they give off! High-tech stuff!

For now, here are a list of some of the most bee-friendly wildflowers you could plant in your yard. If you’ve ever noticed bees make a bee-line for one type of flower in your yard, let us know! Share your photos with us on Facebook and Instagram, we love seeing what our favourite little insects get up to across Canada!

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