It’s that time of year again in the southern state of Georgia. The season came upon us so fast that I didn’t pay attention to the growing glorious rose bushes right outside my window. These particular roses are called Knock Out roses. I don’t know where the name originated, but they are known to be very hardy and requires very little maintenance. Perfect.
Are Bees Attracted To Roses?
I decided to pay extra special attention to my roses, and I got to wondering about honeybees and whether or not they are attracted to roses.
What Types Of Flowers Are Bees Attracted To?
Bees are attracted to flowers that have a sweet fragrance, fall into a certain color profile, and has a “cone” type shape so that they can easily insert their tubular “mouth” to draw out nectar. Do roses fit the above criteria?
Turns out, roses don’t really produce a lot of nectar, mostly pollen. Bees seem to enjoy single roses. Your classic long stem double roses aren’t attractive to bees, but single roses are open and loaded with pollen and perhaps even some nectar.
Honeybees are known to not like red roses. It has been reported that bees cannot see the color red, so red roses are said to draw fewer bees. Honeybees are attracted to flowers that are purple and blue, followed by yellow and orange.
A bee must be attracted to a flower by either color or fragrance in order to pollinate it. The bees do pollinate some types of roses, and that helps the bush to develop rose hips (the seed pods of roses). Rosehips are often dried and used for teas and other culinary reasons.
Honey bees have a hard time with some species of roses where the petals are large and tight because their tubular mouthpiece they use for sucking is not long enough to reach the nectar. Honeybees do forage from the simpler rose flowers.
So, even though the honeybee is not very interested in most roses, it doesn’t diminish or take away from its attractiveness and beauty.
When was the last time you took the time out to smell the fragrant aroma of a rose?