Are bees attracted to honey? (5 bee facts)

In this brief guide, we will answer “are bees attracted to honey?” and discuss what things attract bees, why do plants attract bees and how, what are the flowers that bees love and hate the most, and is it wrong to take honey from bees or not. 

Are bees attracted to honey?

Yes, bees are attracted to honey because honey is the food of the queen bee, worker bees and adult bees in a beehive. 

You can use honey to feed your beehive but why use this expensive food when you can simply feed them simple sugar water. There is also a chance that the honey you bought might be contagious. 

What other things attract bees?

Bees can be attracted to:

  • Colors, mostly violet, blue, yellow, purple, and orange
  • Fragrances, mostly sweet and lemony odours
  • Sugars
  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Wine
  • UV light
  • Certain herbs like rosemary, lavender and mint
  • Nicotine and caffeine

Why do plants attract bees and how?

Plants need insects like bees for pollination. Bees transfer pollen grains from one flower to the next when they collect nectar from plants. This is called pollination that helps plants to reproduce themselves.

Good pollination means large and healthy fruit with a seed capable of working successfully. It is estimated that 75 to 85 percent of food crops depend upon bees for pollination. 

Over the time, plants have evolved themselves to draw more bees. Bees are attracted towards flowers with open or tubular shape, having more pollen and nutritious nectar. A flower’s scent and color is also an important signal to draw a bee’s attention.   

Bees have a supervision which enables them to see a broader range of colors than humans. This helps bees to see those colors and patterns made out of nectar that we cannot see. This supervision also helps bees to distinguish among flowers during mid-flight. 

Some flowers, such as sunflowers, send special “signals” that attract bees towards them. We need UV light to see those signals. 

Which are the flowers bees love the most?

Here’s the list of flowers, based on their shape, color, fragrance and nectar, that bees love the most:

  • Goldenrods
  • Bee balms
  • Black- eyed susan
  • Borage
  • California poppies
  • Chive flowers
  • Lupines
  • Liatris
  • Marigold
  • Mint
  • Nasturtium
  • Pansies
  • Peonies
  • Snowdrops
  • Phlox
  • Sunflowers
  • Flowering thyme
  • Zinnias
  • Lavenders
  • Coneflowers
  • Cranesbill
  • Clover
  • Butterfly weed
  • Anise hyssop
  • Lilacs
  • Honeysuckle
  • Wisteria
  • Lantana
  • Snapdragons
  • Sedums

Which are the flowers bees hate the most?

  • Cucumber
  • Basil
  • Geraniums (especially red geraniums)
  • Wormwood
  • Eucalyptus
  • Citronella
  • Pennyroyal
  • Pitcher plants

Other FAQs about Honey which you may be interested in.

How to boil honey?

Can pregnant women eat raw honey?

Can you substitute agave for honey?

Is it wrong to take honey from bees?

No, it is not wrong to take honey from bees if you leave a sufficient amount of honey in beehives for their survival. Bees are able to live in a short supply of honey. Also, they produce honey much more than their needs.

In a beehive, honey is the food of the queen bee, worker bees and many adult bees whose number is cut short by the colony during winters, so there is a minimum consumption of honey during winters.

Honey is a delicious thing that humans can not make. We need bees for that. A healthy and growing bee colony doesn’t even notice that their honey is being collected, and they keep on making more and more.

Beekeepers only harvest honey when there is an abundance of nectar and pollen for the bees. It allows them to get maximum yield from each single beehive.

What happens when honey is not harvested from beehives?

When honey is not harvested from beehives, bees eat it and swarm so they can last longer without food and start a new colony. 

How do I attract bees to my garden?

If you want our little yellow- winged friends to come and visit your garden, follow these guides:

  • Do not use pesticides, as they kill beneficial bugs, such as bees in our case, along with the pests
  • Grow native plants if you want to attract more native bees. As native plants are proven to be four times more attractive than exotic plants
  • Choose flowers with a wide range of colors that attract bees (violet colors, blue, yellow, purple, and orange)
  • Do not plant flowers in scattered pattern, plant them in clusters
  • Grow flowers with different shapes, heights and sizes
  • Include flowers that bloom in the sequence, throughout the spring, summer and into the fall
  • Plant where bees can visit, as bees prefer sunny and those spots that can protect them from strong winds.
  • Plant flowering fruit plants and vegetables 
  • Try to provide bees a wild habitat

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered “are bees attracted to honey?” and discussed what things attract bees, how plants attract bees and why, what are the flowers that bees love and hate the most, and is it wrong to take honey from bees or not. 

References

  1. https://schoolofbees.com/what-are-bees-attracted-to/
  2. https://www.countryliving.com/gardening/g32157369/flowers-that-attract-bees/
  3. https://www.jcehrlich.com/blog/10-plants-that-repel-bees-and-wasps/
  4. https://www.wikihow.com/Attract-Honey-Bees 

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.