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Do Bees Like Rosemary?

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Do you have bees or are curious about them? Bees play a lot of useful roles in the environment.

As part of their daily tasks, bees need to collect nectar from a lot of flowers to produce honey. What plants attract bees?

Can a plant like a rosemary attract bees?

Rosemary plants are among the favorites of bees. The scent of rosemary flowers attracts bees. Bees collect the nectar of rosemary flowers and produce honey with it.

bees pollination on rosemary flowers

Do bees harm rosemary when they collect from it? What if you don’t want bees in your rosemary garden? Continue reading.

Bees Pollinating Rosemary

Bees are attracted to rosemary just like other plants. Rosemary flowers have a scent that bees are attracted to.

Unlike other harmful insect pests, bees do not harm rosemary plants. If bees do not harm the rosemary, then what do they do to the plants?

What Do Bees Do to Rosemary?

Here are some useful ecological processes that bees carry out for your rosemary flowers and plants:

  • Pollination: Pollination can be defined simply as the fertilization of flowers. Bees pollinate by transferring pollen from the male part of the flower to the female part. While some plants are self-pollinators and there are many agents of pollination, bees are the most effective pollinators for plants and they can help pollinate your rosemary.
  • Collection of Nectar: Pollination is beneficial to the plants, but not directly beneficial to bees. The direct benefit bees get from rosemary flowers is that they collect a sugar-rich liquid called nectar in the flower. Bees take nectar back to the hive to make honey.
  • Increase Yield: One cool benefit of bees to rosemary plants is that you can get more seeds from rosemary plants pollinated by bees. If you use or sell plant seeds, you definitely prefer to have bees pollinate your rosemary plants.

As you can see, bees do not harm your rosemary plants in any way.

honey bee on rosemary flower collect nectar

Why Bees Love Rosemary

Now, you know that a great many plants attract bees. Here are some reasons bees might select rosemary flowers over other plants:

  • Rosemary Flowers Early: Rosemary plants are quick to produce flowers. This means that while other plants are not available for bees to pollinate, rosemary flowers are often available.
  • Rosemary Blooms for a Long Period: Another interesting fact is that when other plants are done blooming, some rosemary plants will still produce flowers. This means that bees have an extended period of pollination when rosemary is around.

Bees view rosemary plants as an almost steady source of flowers for nectar collection.

Other Plants You Can Grow That Attract Bees

Aside from rosemary plants, here are some common plants that attract bees as well:

1. Mint

Bee on mint flowers

You already know the endless uses of mint. You can attract bees with mint when they produce flowers. Remember that mint is better to grow in pots and not in the garden to avoid invasion of the mint roots.

2. Lemon Balm

Just like mint, lemon balm attracts bees a lot. Lemon balm attracts a lot of insects, including predators of pests, so you should consider planting lemon balm in your landscape.

3. Sage

bee on a flower sage pratensis

Salvia, or sage, grows 12-24 inches tall and blooms around early summer. It is a recommended plant for bees after the spring temperatures have passed.

4. Thyme

This herb is both useful and beautiful when blended into cobble walkways or kitchen gardens. What’s more, it attracts bees that will pollinate your other herbs and flowers.

5. Borage

Also known as starflower, this plant blooms from late spring to early summer. It is among the favorites of bees.

If you have bees or are a lover of bees, planting these flowers can attract bees to collect nectar in your garden all throughout the growing season.

Related Questions and Answers

Here are answers to questions that you might have:

1. Do Rosemary Plants Need Bees to Reproduce?

If by reproduction, you mean the production of seeds for planting, the answer is no.

Aside from bees, other insects can pollinate rosemary flowers, as can the wind.

This means that even if there are no bees around, your rosemary will still produce seeds.

Even though your rosemary plants can produce seeds without bees, you should know that bees can significantly increase the yield of your plants.

2. Why Are Bees Not Pollinating Your Rosemary?

honey bee on rosemary flower

Can’t find bees around your rosemary flower?, Here are some reasons why:

  • Bee Scouts have not Found Your Plants: Bees do not just go to plants to collect nectar. They first send the bee scouts to look for flowers. When the scouts find the flowers, more bees will go for nectar collection and pollination. Maybe the scouts have not yet located your rosemary.
  • Your Rosemary Plants Are Surrounded By Plants That Repel Bees: Some plants repel bees and other insects. Also, if plants around your rosemaries are not flowering, there is a high chance that bees cannot find your rosemary flowers.
  • There is No Beehive Nearby: Have you ever seen a bee in your locality? It could be that bees are not common in your area. Other pollinators, however, might be present in your area.
  • Your Rosemary Plants Do Not Have Enough Flowers Yet: If this is the case, all you have to do is wait.
  • Bees Might have Pollinated the Flowers: If you saw bees around the plants, wait a little while longer as the flowers might’ve been pollinated and are developing into seeds.

Don’t worry, as your rosemaries will still produce seeds.

3. Can You Prevent Rosemary from Attracting Bees?

What if you have rosemary plants, but you do not want bees close to your plants? What can you do? Here are some tips:

  • Cut the Flower Buds: You should cut off the flowers of your rosemary if you do not want bees to pollinate them. Bees are attracted to plants by their flowers.
  • Plant in a Greenhouse: Greenhouses are enclosed, so your rosemary plants are safe from bees, pollinators, and other insect pests.
  • Plant Your Rosemary Around Plants That Do Not Attract Bees: Some plants such as grasses and wormwood do not attract bees, so you can plant your rosemary among such plants to deter bees.

Make sure that you know why you do not want bees around your garden as the bees will not harm your plants nor you.

4. What Plants Repel Bees?

Fresh organic lemongrass are growing up

Want to know some plants that repel bees? Here are some examples:

  • Lemongrass
  • Wormwood
  • Ornamental Grasses
  • Ranunculuses
  • Dahlias

I am pretty sure that you will avoid growing these plants as you want bees around your garden.

5. How Do You Grow Rosemary Plants?

You can grow rosemary plants by seeds or by cutting.

To grow rosemary by cutting, follow the steps below:

  1. Get a rosemary cutting.
  2. Remove the lower leaves.
  3. Plant the cutting 3-4 inches deep in soil and water gently.
  4. Continue to nurture the cutting by watering it and protecting it from pests.
  5. In less than a week, you should see new leaves growing. This means that the new plant is developing roots.
  6. Continue to water the plant.

To prevent the cutting from drying in the soil, you can start it in a glass of water and nurture it until it develops roots before planting it in soil (or your preferred medium).

Have you found the answer to your question? I hope so.

Final Thoughts

Rosemary plants do attract bees. It is a win-win situation for both bees and rosemary as the bees collect nectar while the rosemary flowers are pollinated.

If you have bees, you get to enjoy the honey they produce with the rosemary nectar. If you have rosemary, you get to enjoy more yield as bees increase the number of seeds that rosemary will produce.


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