They say honeybees ignore red flowers. Is that true? Find out here.

They say honeybees ignore red flowers. Is that true? Find out here.

Can bees see color?

You might have heard that honeybees for the most part ignore red flowers, and if you have cardinal flowers in your garden, you'll have a hard time finding a honeybee on them. Hummingbirds, on the other hand, love red flowers. 

Pinapple sage

Some red flowers have thin and long trumpet-like flowers, like pineapple sage (Salvia elegans), for example.

Since hummingbirds and butterflies have long tongues, they can reach the nectar at the bottom of the flower, and you'll often see them enjoying their bounty.

However, honeybees have shorter tongues, and they can't reach the nectar inside them. 

There's an exception to every rule

But since every rule seems to come with an exception, here's a red flower that the bees can't seem to get enough of.

Honeybees love the bottle brush bush (Callistemon). It's easy to find a bee in a flower, but to see so many bees in the same flower head is unusual. Somehow the structure of the bottle brush flower head allows them to climb in and out easily, and they must love it, because they've been visiting that bush for a few weeks now. It never gets old watching honeybees gathering nectar.

See how the climb in and out the "bristles" in this video.


If you'd like to know more about flowers that bees love, here's a post I wrote about it.
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