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Do Marigolds Attract Bees? (And Why, If So?)

Do Marigolds Attract Bees? (And Why, If So?)

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The marigold is one of the most beautiful flowers and it is really going to liven up your garden. If you were thinking of growing a few flowers in your house, you simply can’t go wrong with the marigold.

Many people are under the impression that growing marigolds is a great way to repel honeybees. Honeybees and other flying insects can prove to be a nuisance around your garden, and can make it difficult for you to be in your garden.

There are several natural methods that can be used to deter flying insects such as yellow jackets or hornets. However, marigolds aren’t one of them.

Many of your common flowers and herbs can prove to be partner plants in the garden, and they can easily repel bad insects or balance the level of nitrogen in the soil.

There are others that tend to attract pollinators, which are essential for developing fruits. If you have a large number of bees buzzing around your garden, you should know that the marigold isn’t a permanent solution to this problem.

The stench produced by the marigold might deter a few bees from buzzing around the garden, but it’s definitely going to resolve the problem if you have a large population.

Understanding the Role of Honeybees

Honeybees are perhaps one of the most important links in the entire global food chain. They are beneficial insects that tend to pollinate plants. Flowers and honeybees mutually benefit one another.

However, most people tend to think of other insects as well when we talk about honeybees. For instance, yellow jackets and hornets are commonly mistaken for honeybees.

These insects follow a swarming behavior, and they have very painful stings that can put a stop to any outdoor picnic. Instead of using harmful pesticides and chemicals, it would be a wise idea to use natural methods to repel these insects.

Planting marigolds is a halfway fix (it’s not a permanent solution nor is it going to completely get rid of the bees). First of all, you should know that the marigold is a very common companion plant, and is used commonly for food crops.

The pungent odor that they release plays an important role in keeping away a wide range of harmful insects and pests. Many gardeners even report that marigolds tend to keep away pests such as rabbits too.

The golden flower head also serves as an excellent cover for other blooming plants. Best of all, marigolds tend to bloom throughout the season.

Unfortunately, the science about whether marigolds are going to keep honeybees away is spotty at best, and there is no proven experiment that confirms it. The most you have is folk wisdom, as elders believed that honeybees can be repelled by marigolds.

However, because of the sheer size of the marigold, you should know that honeybees are going to flock to the plant, because it is such a source of pollen for them. If you increase the number of marigolds in your garden, the number of honeybees is automatically going to increase.

Why Are Bees Attracted to Such Plants?

First of all, you need to understand that bees do not see light the same as humans. The way they see color is also slightly different. For starters, bees see color in the ultraviolet spectrum, so the only tones they see are gray and black.

Therefore, the vibrant color of most flowers isn’t really a point of attraction for the bees. However, what really attracts the bees is the nectar and the scent produced by the plants.

Even though humans hate the smell produced by the marigold flower, it doesn’t really prove to be a point of concern for honeybees. They are only concerned with the nectar, and as they tend to suck on it, they are able to pollinate the flower too.

However, does the plant repel the other invasive bee species such as wasps or yellow jackets? Keep in mind that wasps and other insects aren’t really after the nectar, they just want to wreak havoc.

Instead of nectar, their primary attraction is the protein from other insects, as they usually tend to prey on smaller insects. Marigolds are of no interest to these insects. Their concern is only the bees and other tiny insects.

Benefits of the Marigold

The marigold doesn’t just attract a few bees that come to feast on the nectar, it also offers a range of other benefits. For instance, marigolds greatly improve the health of the soil and the roots are also designed to ward off other nematodes that can cause disease.

This is quite common amongst tomatoes and various other types of vegetables. You should ideally aim to purchase varieties that have open centers because the bees will be able to reach the insects quite easily this way.

Caring for Marigolds

There’s a reason why the marigold is considered to be a garden staple and has been for the longest time. The simple answer to this is that the marigold flower is quite resistant to drought and heat, and it is more than capable of defending itself from pests.

The plant grows easily from the seed and can easily bloom in the house or you can also grow it outdoors. In the summer months, you can sow it directly into the soil.

Watering the Plant

One of the most obvious signs of a good flower is that they don’t require a lot of watering. The marigold fits this requirement very well.

When you are planting the marigold, you have to make sure that the soil is completely wet and soaked. If you have planted a few other flowers, you might already know that this is considered standard practice.

This will give the plant a good drink earlier in its life and it’s also going to improve the health of the plant by a considerable margin. Then, you can just water the plant when you think that the soil has become completely dry.

These are just a few things that you should know about marigolds and their relationship with bees.

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annie grossjohann

Saturday 2nd of April 2022

Although I appreciate your recommendation not to use harsh pesticides, there is a real anti-insect feeling to this article.

The bees we actually need to „save“ are the wild bees, like bumble bees for instance. Wild bees are very gentle are not a threat to anyone. Even wasps and hornets are important in our ecosystems, and usually only sting when provoked.

Regional wild flowers are crucial to our insects. Planting them is a true gift to your native bees and butterflies.