Honey bees can prove to be a nuisance around your garden and can make it difficult for you to be in your garden. That’s why most people grow marigolds as a way to repel honeybees. However, growing marigolds isn’t one of the ways to deter honey bees.
Honey Bees like marigold flowers because of the nectar and pollen. Nectars provide honey bees food necessary to make honey whereas pollen provides proteins to the honeybees.
Unlike other invasive bee species such as wasps or yellow jackets, which create havoc to marigolds, honeybees are never destructive to the flower. In fact, honeybees love marigold flowers.
Today, we delve into the relationship between marigolds and honeybees. The article explains why honeybees like marigolds. At the end of the article, you will learn about different types of flowers that attract honeybees. Keep reading!
Do Honey Bees Like Marigolds?
Like most pollinators, honey bees like marigolds. Marigold flowers are a great source of nectar used to make honey.
Nectar provides honeybees with sugars, which is an instant boost of energy to bees. Once the honeybees get excess nectar from the marigolds, they get back to the hive and share with other bees. After that, an enzyme in the honeybees’ stomach turns the nectar into diluted honey.
Honeybees also like marigolds because of their yellow color. This color often attracts honeybees to the flower.
Marigold’s scent is also a significant honeybee’s attractor. The smell attracts honeybees to the nectar.
Besides the various reasons why bees like marigolds, marigold flowers have exceptional benefits;
What are the Benefits of Marigolds?
Attracts other beneficial insects
Similar to bees, marigold flowers also attract other beneficial insects such as ladybugs, parasitic wasps, hover flies, and other beneficial insects that protect your plants from aphids and other harmful pests.
From ancient times to the modern day, marigold’s most popular use has been healing skin wounds, burns, rashes, itchiness, bites, and swelling. This is because marigolds can promote healthy new tissue growth, increase blood flow to the affected area, boost collagen production, and hydrate dry skin.
Naturally repels bugs
Marigolds contain the pungent odor, antioxidant content, and volatile oil used to naturally repel mosquitoes, pests, and other insects. And this is the reason why marigolds flowers are commonly planted in vegetable gardens.
Reduces conjunctivitis and eye inflammation
Marigold’s extracts can treat conjunctivitis and other chronic ocular inflammatory conditions. Research has also demonstrated that these extracts can protect vision by guarding the eyes against UV lights’ effects.
Making soothing digestive tea
You can also use marigold flowers to make tea to lower symptoms caused by inflammatory bowel disease.
Why Are Bees Attracted to Marigolds?
Bees are primarily attracted to marigolds because of pollen and nectar. Pollen and nectar from marigold flowers constitute a significant source of food for bees.
Like human beings, bees also need a balanced diet, and they can get it from flowers such as marigolds. Bees get protein from pollen and carbohydrates and sugar from nectar.
The bees use the nectar as food and an energy source to get to and from their home. On the other hand, they use the pollen they pick up from marigolds to feed larva (baby bees).
Besides marigolds being a source of food for bees, marigold flowers also attract bees because of their coloration. Bees have good color vision, and so, the marigolds’ yellow color attracts them to the flower. Bees’ perfect color vision helps them find flowers and the nectar and pollen they offer.
Marigolds also don’t repel nectar-seeking honeybees. Despite having an odor that repels the insects, including wasps and yellow jackets, marigolds don’t repel honeybees. The smell is not a concern for any nectar-seeking honeybees.
When do Marigolds Bloom
Marigolds are beautiful flowers that can be grown easily and anywhere; from Europe to America and Asia to Africa, marigolds are found everywhere.
Marigold flowers love warm temperature and moisture, and It starts blooming above 22 degrees Celsius (Mid-January). The flower continues to bloom until the temperature reaches 35+ degrees Celsius (till the end of April).
During the booming period, you will find most marigold varieties of marigold blooming in the early morning. Afterward, the flowers stay fresh for more than a week.
Also, marigolds can bloom in summer and winter. For instance, perennial marigolds bloom best during summer. Though you may find a reduction in flower size in summer, you will definitely get a large number of marigolds blooming together in summer.
On the other hand, marigolds can also bloom during winter. If you live near equator countries such as Africa, the Indian subcontinent, or other Asian countries, your plants will bloom in winter. But, if you live in frost-like conditions, you probably won’t see any bloom in your marigolds.
What Flowers Are Honey Bees Attracted to?
Not every flower you plant in your garden will attract honeybees. In fact, some flowers repel honey bees at the slightest provocation.
Below are proven flowers that attract honeybees;
Honeybees and lavender are perfect friends, especially in bloom, as they love anything in bloom where they can get nectar or pollen. Unlike marigolds, lavender has a pleasant scent from the essential oils in the plant’s leaves, making it more attractive to honeybees.
Unlike the other flowers, snapdragons are unique flowers in scent, shape, and color. Typically, honey bees are active during the day, and this is when snapdragons release most of their scent.
Bees cannot see red, but they see yellow and blue, making the color of snapdragons attractive to honeybees.
Also, the flower has a shape that gives honeybees easy access to its sweetness.
Bee balm is another perfect flower that attracts honeybees. This perennial flower grows up to 4 inches tall and produces brightly colored tubular blooms that are a fantastic nectar source.
The flower is easy to grow, deer resistant, and drought-resistant, making it a great addition to bee gardens in hot climates.
Besides the three main flowers, honey bees also get attracted to other flowers such as sunflowers, black-eyed Susan, lilacs, coneflowers, wisteria vines, sedums, cosmos, geums, hellebores, hollyhocks, foxgloves, crab apples, and bluebells.