Are Sunflowers Good for Bees? (Solved)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Sunflowers are perhaps one of the most beautiful and fascinating plants on the planet.

Their uniqueness in beauty and structure makes them a very lovable flower plant. Sunflowers are a helpful plant to small creatures such as bees and other flying insects.

It’s important, however, you understand that there are multiple varieties of sunflowers, and not all of them are good for bees.

Bees are only attracted to some varieties of the plant, which helps them in completing their important task of making honey.

Furthermore, bees can be territorial around sunflowers most times.

The moment they begin to fetch nectar from the plant, they could have a sense of entitlement and try to protect the plant from other insects or even humans.

As a result of this, it’s not safe to move close to a sunflower inhabited by bees.

Why do bees like sunflowers?

Are Sunflowers Good for Bees

Bees are naturally attracted to sunflowers and there is only one main reason why they love the plant – sunflowers enable bees to produce honey.

In order for bees to make honey, they need to acquire three important ingredients, which are water, nectar, and pollen.

Sunflowers provide more than enough nectar for bees to make their honey.

Occasionally, bees can even find water in sunflowers.

If there are no sunflowers close to a colony of bees, the insect would travel miles to ensure they find the plant.

In a case whereby the plant is close by, you will always find bees perching and hovering around the flowers.

Related: Here is an article I wrote on how long bees stay in a hive.

Do sunflowers bring bees?

Despite how beautiful sunflowers are, people barely plant them in gardens or close to homes.

There are a few significant reasons why people are reluctant to have this plant around themselves.

One thing you should keep in mind is that sunflowers will always attract bees, even though they aren’t close to bushes or a beehive.

Just as dead meat attracts vultures and other wild birds, so do bees always find a way to locate sunflowers because their survival is partially dependent on it.

Without sunflowers, bees will be unable to make their food and produce for human consumption.

If you intend to have sunflowers planted around your home, you may want to reconsider.

Sunflowers will definitely bring bees around your home, and this isn’t safe.

Which sunflowers are best for bees?

Annual sunflowers, alternatively termed Helianthus annus, are the one type of sunflowers that mostly attract bees, as well as butterflies.

The glowing golden plant produces sweet nectar and pollen that attract bees from miles away.

The annual sunflower has an undeniable beauty that steals the admiration of even humans, not just tiny creatures.

They are considered the best sunflowers for bees, as their content is safe for producing honey by the bees.

Each time bees visit the annual sunflowers to get nectar and pollen, they can spend multiple hours gathering enough of the substance.

Although other types of sunflowers may not be bad or harmful to bees, they are often avoided by the insects because they can’t provide the colony with the important substance they need for making honey.

Occasionally, bees are seen hovering around other sunflowers beside the annual sunflowers.

Also check out this article on bees and if they go away at night

Do honey bees like sunflowers?

Asking if honey bees like sunflowers is like asking if cats love fish.

Sunflowers are predominantly visited by honey bees. These insects are never far away from sunflowers since that’s one of their major sources of food.

While worker bees are busy getting water for the colony, honey bees are executing their own job of extracting nectar from sunflowers.

If there aren’t enough honey bees in a colony to get sufficient nectar and pollen, other bees would have to be recruited into the team of honey bees.

The aim is to get a bigger workforce that can execute the job competently.

What flowers do not attract bees?

There are a few types of flowers that do not attract bees. As a matter of fact, these flowers perform a good job in repelling bees.

One of these amazing flowers is Geraniums.

This flower can’t possibly attract bees due to multiple factors.

It’s a red plant, and bees do not see the color red, which makes them unable to identify the plant.

Geranium has no nectar or pollen to offer bees, and amazingly, it has a weird scent that does not appeal to stinging insects, including bees.

Moreover, another flower that does attract bees at all is the marigold. Marigold is a beautiful orange color flour planted in gardens.

Farmers often plant this flower not just because of its beauty, but due to its ability to repel insects.

The marigold has a strong scent that makes it unattractive to stinging insects.

Nectar-seeking bees do not hover around this plant, knowing full well that they won’t find what they are looking for.

How to keep bees away from sunflowers

One of the most appropriate ways to keep bees away from sunflowers is by growing plants that naturally repel bees.

There are about ten different plants that ward off bees. If you can raise some of these plants close to your sunflowers, chances are that you won’t see any bees around.

One of these bee-repelling plants is citronella. This plant is known for its special ability to repel not just bees, but other disturbing insects such as mosquitoes and wasps.

Citronella is easy to grow. As long as you water the plant properly and expose it to at least 6 hours of sun every day, it will keep blooming.

Also, another great plant that can help you keep bees away from sunflowers is cucumber.

Bees detest the bitter and acidic cucumber peels. To avoid this, the insects will not come around the plant.

If you have sunflowers in your garden and you want to always keep bees away, cucumber could just be the best option for you.

Conclusion

The connection between sunflowers and bees is undeniable.

The insects are dependent on the sunflowers for food, which is why they can be sometimes territorial around the plant.

The annual sunflowers attract bees more than any other variety of sunflowers on the planet.

If you have this plant on your garden or farm, ensure you keep bees away from your surroundings naturally by growing bee-repelling plants.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books