What Colors Attract Bees?
Despite their benefits, bees can be very bothersome at times. But have you ever wondered what attracts bees to us in the first place?
Bees belong to the Phylum Arthropoda of Kingdom Animalia, and they take one of the top spots in the world when it comes to population. Hundreds of different species of bees have spread all across the world. You may observe some of them wandering in your house and garden.
As to what attracts bees to your home and garden, there are several natural attractors. The major attractors happen to be the scent and color of the natural environment. Food, flowers, light, and other attractors also catch the attention of bees. Let’s have a look at some of the factors of what attracts bees.
What attracts bees more than anything else are scents. Bees look for flowers for pollination, and to consume pollen and nectar. Therefore, they mostly get attracted to sweet, flowery scents.
Bees may get attracted to anyone wearing sweet and flowery perfumes confusing them with actual flowers.
The sweet scent isn’t limited to just perfumes though. Anything that smells sweet will lure bees. These could include:
- cosmetic items
- hair products
The market is full of such kind of products, and these might be pleasant to you, but they will also attract bees. They may even sting you because of the fruity attraction.
So, stay away from fruity fragrances if you have beehives near you. Also, stay cautious while eating and drinking openly in such places. Sweet food attract bees as much as sweet scents and flowers. They can even detect the fruity scent of the bubblegum you’re chewing.
Besides these human-related items bees use their exceptional sense of smell for several other purposes. These include:
- Guard bees protect their hives from outsiders by identifying their alien smell and keep them away from their hive.
- During the mating season, the virgin Queen bee releases sex pheromones to attract the drone bees and to mate.
- With help of their specific lemony odors bees locate their hives and find out their homes while swarming.
Plants and Flowers
Almost every bee thrives upon a plant or a flower as they’re their primary food sources. They derive nectar and collect pollen from flowers to fulfill their nutritional needs, and to produce honey. The following are some of the plants that draw the attention of bees:
- Bee Balm (MonardaSp)
- Blackeyed Susan (RudbeckiaHirta)
- Stone Crop (Sedum Spp)
- Goldenrod (SolidagoSpp)
- Butterfly Bush (Buddlejadavidii)
- Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
- Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochiumpurpureum)
Besides these plants, major attractors for bees in any garden are flowers. Fragrant scents of flowers include:
Besides the scents of flowers what attract bees is the shape, texture, and design of flowers as well. Several flowers like lilies entice bees by displaying stripes, ridges or spots pointing towards the center of the flower and hinting bees that “Food is here”.
Bees are attracted towards multiple colors, but favorite among them is yellow. Also, blue and purple happen to be favorites as well. Bees are color blind, so they can’t identify all the colors that exist in the world.
For example, red appears green to them, and though they’re unable to recognize red color, they can see reddish wavelengths like orange. Therefore, flowers like corn poppy and pansies that have the ultraviolet color mixed in their red color appear blue to the bees.
Bees get aggressive seeing dark colors such as black, dark blue or dark red and may attack the person wearing it because these are the colors of their predators.
So, if you work in an environment where there’s a presence of bees, try to avoid wearing dark-colored clothes. Always wear white or light-colored clothes if you’re near a beehive to avoid the aggressive attention of bees.
Certain textures and prints also catch the attention of bees. A floral design on a shirt or asymmetrical dress. What attracts bees the most is a fuzzy texture.
Another bee attractor on our list is herbs. Bees are attracted to herbs because of the captivating scents, and their single-petaled flowers make it easy for bees to collect nectar. Some favorite herbs of bees include:
- Lemon Balm
Most insects including bees are phototropic. This means they are attracted towards bright white and yellow lights. Tubelight is their favorite type of light, and they will hover around it. Even though bees are active during the day, if they come across a tube light they confuse it with daylight.
This is known as ‘positive phototactic response’ which interrupts their normal body clock, and they come out seeking light, instead of staying dormant at night. To keep bees away from your light source, replace your home’s porch light with colored lights that are out of the bee’s color vision.
Not only bees but almost every small flying creature and insect gets attracted towards unhygienic stuff. The developed sense of taste of honeybees makes them distinguish between sweet, bitter, sour, and salty tastes.
Sweat bees are highly attracted towards human sweat and will lick the salts in the sweat.
Food is another major factor in what attracts bees to us. The scent of foods specifically happens to be one of the major attractors for bees. Sugary foods and drinks like soda, fruits, pineapple, watermelon, mangoes, etc. largely attract bees mainly because of their tempting smell.
Any food like fried chicken, BBQ, etc. that have a strong aroma will attract bees to it. Therefore, if you’re out in the open for a picnic or outing keep your food in airtight containers. To avoid bees being pulled towards it open the containers right before food intake.
Take note of the attractors mentioned above while visiting a bee-keeping site or if there’s a beehive around you. Be cautious; don’t put on sweet scents, wear vibrant colors, and eat out in the open. You may inadvertently trigger these buzzing bees, and land yourself in a painful situation.
On the other hand, these attractors can be positively used by beekeepers to lure bees to help and augment their growth rate and honey production.***
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