Thought to be the birth flower of March, Daffodils are quite a beauty to behold.
The flowers are tall with big, prolific heads that contain smaller flowers inside the circular disc.
And of course, daffodils are good for bees. Why wouldn’t they? The daffodils are a nectar and pollen playground for bees. Little wonder you see them flock around the flowers.
Asides from their colourful flowers that seem to attract the best, the daffodils are quite bee-friendly.
But sometimes, bees stay away from daffodils, except they have something else to offer. Well, who knows what “something else to offer” could mean to these bees.
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What Are the Benefits of Daffodils For Bees?
Of course, as expected, there are various benefits, uses and advantages of daffodils to bees. Here are some of the advantages of daffodils to bees below:
It is safe to say that daffodils have proven themselves to be safe for bees. Now, here is what I mean.
Sometimes bees can be found lying around unopened flowers for months and they stay safe. The daffodils are like a second home for the bees.
Daffodils are quite important to the bees, especially after the spring because they are usually the first flowers to appear after the spring.
Asides from that fact, their nectar helps to establish a resident bee population and this is needed throughout the growing season.
Related: Here is an article I wrote on can you break a beehive with bees in it?
Do Honey Bees Like Daffodils?
Well, it isn’t quite known if honey bees like daffodils, but one thing can be noted and that’s the fact that they feed from the flower.
Usually, it is believed that honey bees avoid daffodils until they have something to offer. And daffodils have a lot to offer.
They are the first flowers to open up during spring and the Queen bees need that early supply of food.
Do Daffodils have Pollen for Bees?
Of course, they do. I mean, if they didn’t, how then do bees feed on them?
However, this is what could be said of daffodils in time past.
Recently, the seed of daffodils have been highly manipulated by plant breeders and so the flowers are no longer attractive to bees.
The reasons for manipulating the seeds are quite simple.
When it comes to ornamental flowers, plant breeders select for beauty.
This affects Daffodils in particular because they are mostly selected for the color of their flower, the symmetry of their flower, the angle of the flower (does it face up or down), the size of the flower, and other arbitrary characteristics that daffodil judges look for.
Now when the plant breeders do this, they end up producing an amazing variety of daffodils that run the gamut from white to yellow to orange to pink thereby making lots of money from them as they are prized by the collectors.
When these seeds have been crossed, they are planted and groomed for about 7 years before they bloom into a flower for the plant breeder to see his work.
When the flowers bloom, they look quite beautiful but the characteristics that were put in place breeding them, didn’t consider them for pollination.
So, when they bloom, honey bees do not find them attractive for pollination.
Can You Get Seeds from Daffodils?
Of course, you can get seeds from daffodils. Getting seeds from daffodils that will in turn aid in the creation of new flowers is an easy process.
After you cross-pollinate two daffodils, you will likely be able to harvest some seeds from them after a couple of months.
And every single seed you harvest is a new daffodil because, with daffodils, just as it is with humans, not a single seed will look the same as another.
To get the seeds off the flowers, they have to be allowed to grow for about 8 – 10 weeks first for the seed buds to appear, after which you start to monitor the seed buds.
Slowly, they would grow to the size of the standard daffodil seed buds. After the 8th week, they start to turn brown and are ready to be harvested.
This is where you have to watch the seed bus closely because if you’re too late, the buds will burst open and you might lose the seeds.
Also check out this article I wrote on can worker bees be female?
Do Bees Get Anything from Daffodils?
Yes, bees get nectar and pollen from daffodils. The daffodil flowers that provide pollen for bees are quite valued by the bees.
This is because they are the first flowers to bloom after spring.
They are more like saving graces for bees because they bloom at a point when they are most needed.
Before spring, the Queen bees would have been hibernating, which takes up a lot of their energy, and an early source of food cannot be overrated.
Sometimes, as early as February, you will find the bees on the closed flowers of daffodils, waiting for them to open up.
What Bulbs Are Good for Bees?
If you’re looking for ways to help bees not travel so far in search of food, then this is for you. Knowing what bulbs are good for bees and ensuring that you plant them is a good way to help.
Here are some of the bulbs below:
1. Silicon Honey Garlic
Also known as Nectaroscordum, this is one bulb that you can’t go wrong with. Asides from the fact that they are quite good pollinators for bees, planting them around your garden will leave you a beauty to behold.
2. Allium Globemaster
The flowers of this bulb can be likened to a feast for the bees. As a beekeeper who wants to keep her bees close, this is your go-to flower.
Other bulbs are
- Winter Aconite
- Grape Hyacinth
- Mount Everest, etc.
Why are Many Daffodils Not Visited by Bees?
Many daffodils are not visited by bees because they have lost their pollinating attraction. This usually happens because of the plant breeders.
Most characteristics put into consideration when planting the flowers do not consider the flowers for pollination but beauty.
So, bees would not go close to a flower that they can not get nectar or pollen from.
Daffodils are good for bees, and they can be lifesavers to these bees if their pollinating ability can be considered when breeding them.