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Every spring and summer, we see bees humming around gardens and flowerbeds looking for juicy blossoms where they can harvest pollen and take it back to the hive to make honey.
A lot of people are surprised to learn that bees visit flowers for their nectar and their pollen. Both are essential for bees.
As people get more into gardening, they learn about different flowers and plants and how bees interact with them. An interesting fact about roses is that they produce no nectar but are rich in pollen.
Does the lack of nectar mean that bees don’t like honey? Not at all!
Bees like roses, especially when they are rich with pollen. There are certain types of roses that bees are more drawn to, namely wild roses and other hybrid varieties.
If you’re curious about bees and how they will interact with your rose bushes, here are seven things you should know.
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1. Bees Love Wild Roses
Kiftsgate and Grandiflora are two types of wild roses that will draw plenty of bees. These plants can grow very large, sometimes reaching up to 30 feet high. They usually make a ton of flowers, so it’s a big score for bees in your neighborhood when the flowers are in bloom.
2. Hybrids Are Also a Treat for Bees
In addition to the wild roses, bees love hybrid roses like ‘Morning Mist’, ‘The Lady’s Blush’, ‘Kew Gardens’, and other hybrid varieties.
Bees love these plants because the blossoms are typically only a short distance from one another. Harvesting bees can hop from one flower to the next without too much effort.
3. Bees Love Flowers Close Together
Close blossoms save bees a lot of energy and make their trips to and from your garden more productive. The flowers also give plenty of cover from any predators and offer shade from the hot sun or if rain starts to fall.
With so many flowers, they are also less likely to fight with other bees over the pollen. Each bee will have plenty of room to operate.
4. Bees Offer Great Pest Control
One thing that many people don’t know is that bees are a great help to your garden. Whether you’re planting roses or some other type of flower, you want the bees around. Sure, you might be scared of a bee sting or two, but the benefits outweigh the risks here.
Bees eat and scare off other insects that want to eat your roses and ruin your garden. While bees are just trying to get covered in pollen and leave, other insects are trying to take bites out of leaves and blossoms. The bees help keep your garden insect-free.
5. The Bees Love Bright Roses
Roses stand out in any garden, and bees take notice. The bright pink, yellow, and other shades of beautiful flowers are like a big neon sign for bees looking for pollen.
That’s why you’ll see so many bees hovering around roses. They’re easy to find and the bees know what they’re getting when they get to a rose bush.
6. Bees Don’t See Red
Even though we just said that bees love bright colors, remember, they can’t see red! If you don’t want as many bees in your flower garden, stick to red roses.
Yellow roses will likely bring more bees because they sometimes confuse them for sunflowers, which is one of their favorite flowers to harvest from.
7. Bees Like Smaller Blooms
Typically, bees prefer smaller flowers that have stronger smells. The flowers are generally abundant and give them plenty of reason to come back.
We know that there are a lot of different types of bees, but do they all like roses? Let’s take a look.
Honey Bees – Honey bees are focused on finding the flowers that give them the biggest payoff. If a garden bed or flowers are too far, they’ll find something closer that makes their job easier.
Bumblebees – Bumblebees also love a good rose bush. These bees are bigger than your average honey bee, so it takes more pollen to feed young and get the energy they need to fly around and take care of other chores.
When they see a rose bush with a lot of flowers, they’ll come quickly. They can get deep inside of a rose flower and, with their larger wings, get more pollen with the strong vibration they make.
Carpenter Bees – Carpenter bees are known for being prolific pollinators, so it’s no wonder they also love visiting rose plants.
When flowers are in abundance and located close together, you’ll probably find carpenter bees up and down your bushes.
We’ve already touched on some of the types of roses bees love, but if you’re looking to attract more bees into your garden to get rid of pests and pollinate your plants, then here are some species that you should take a look at.
Butterfly Rose – These rose bushes can grow to be very large. Sometimes they get six feet tall and equally as wide. When they bloom there are so many flowers that bees will have their pick of the litter when they visit to gather pollen.
The flowers are a nice pinkish tone and emit a lovely fragrance that calls out to bees in the area.
California Rose – The ‘California’ Rose is a great choice for gardeners who want to attract bees because the flowers are a nice mix of yellow and bright pink. There is a strong fragrance that brings in the bees from farther away, and they look great in your garden!
‘Amber Sun’ Roses – As you know now, bees love brightly colored blooms with strong fragrances. Yellow, in particular, is a great choice because it reminds bees of sunflowers, which they love.
The ‘Amber Sun’ rose is a fantastic option for your garden because it’s a lovely yellow blossom that looks great when in bloom.
‘Purple Rain‘ – If you’re looking for something a bit unique for your rose garden, take a look at ‘Purple Rain’ roses. These roses have a lot of soft petals and an intense purplish-pink color that will make your garden pop.
As you continue to learn more about gardening and experiment with different types of flowers, you’ll grow to appreciate bees more and recognize the important role they play in pollinating your flowers and keeping your plants healthy.
For gardeners, the buzzing of bees in the spring and the summer is always a welcome sound. It means their plants are getting what they need and giving back to nature in a way that’s beautiful to see.
Play around with different types of roses to see what brings in the most bees. Over time, you’ll find what works for your area and the types of bees living near your house. Here’s to a thriving garden full of bees all the time!