Do bees like roses?
The answer is no. And yes.
Let me explain. Bees like flowers that look and smell good to them.
Bees aren’t generally attracted to red and bright pink flowers. They prefer shades of blue, violet, white, yellow and orange.
They’re put off by lots of big fluffy petals. It’s too hard to get at the nectar and pollen. They prefer flowers with shapes that provide them easy access to the goodies.
Bees are very sensitive to odors, both good and bad. Like people, they are drawn to flowers with a sweet fragrance.
Many modern roses have bunches of tightly closed petals in shades of red and bright pink. Some have little or no fragrance. As a rule, bees don’t like ’em.
But many of the older “heirloom” roses have single or double blossoms that smell heavenly. They have big yellow “bullseyes” that seductively invite bees to visit. Here are a few of my favorites, all from The Antique Rose Emporium:
- New English Garden Bee Plants – “Essence Purple” and “Silver Mist” English Lavender (romancingthebee.com)