What color do bees dislike?

Which plants do bees dislike?

There is often talk of bee-friendly plants, but which plants do bees dislike? The following plants are not well received by the growlers.

Bees are of particular importance for our habitat because they are one of the most important pollinators for many plant species. Unfortunately, the number of bees continues to decline for a variety of reasons, such as an increasing number of monocultures and the use of toxic insecticides. To counteract this trend, more and more hobby gardeners are deciding to give the bees a hand in their own garden. But did you know that not every plant is bee-friendly or that there are plants that can harm bees? You can find out here which plants have proven to be unfriendly to bees and therefore not enrich a bee-friendly garden.


Unfortunately, the misconception that all plants are automatically friendly to bees is widespread. In fact, there are numerous plants that are unfriendly to bees and that do not please the hard-working insects. There are many reasons why plants are not suitable for bees: Some plants produce neither pollen nor nectar, while in others the food supply is severely restricted by double flowers. We have put together ten plants for you that bees do not like at all.

10. Garden chrysanthemums

The chrysanthemum provides (Chrysanthemum) in autumn for bright color accents. Especially the great flowers, which shine from brilliant white to warm orange to intense purple, turn the heads of many gardeners. However, not all types of chrysanthemums are suitable for bees: The highly cultivated garden chrysanthemums in particular often have double flowers, which means that they are unsuitable as bee pastures. If, on the other hand, a gardener reaches for chrysanthemums with simple, unfilled flowers such as the autumn chrysanthemum ‘Hebe’ (Chrysanthemum indicum ‘Lift’) back, you can give the bee a real pleasure - due to its flowering time from October to November, the plant serves as an important source of food in autumn, when most of the other plants have already faded.

9. Cultivated roses

For many gardeners, a garden without roses is (pink) hardly imaginable, after all, the majestic flowers ennoble every bed. Only bees cannot take advantage of the elegant beauty: Most roses are bred in such a way that, due to their double flowers, they offer little or no food for beneficial insects. Fortunately, there are also roses that are bee-friendly and beautiful. Particularly unfilled varieties such as the dwarf ‘Bienenweide Rot®’ or the shrub rose ‘Global Water®’ are perfect for the Brummer. But wild roses are particularly popular with bees: Apple rose (Rosa villosa), Wine rose (Rosa rubiginosa) and creeping rose (Rosa arvensis) impress humans and animals with their abundance of flowers and are a romantic ornament for every garden.

8. Tulips

What would spring be without the export hit from the Netherlands? For many gardeners, tulips (Tulipa cultivars) to the most beautiful spring flowers in the bed. Especially the colorful varieties, which are a bright eye-catcher in the bed, make the tulip a popular guest in the garden. For beneficial insects, however, tulips are a double-edged sword: while wild tulips like the vineyard tulip (Tulipa sylvestris) are often flown to by many beneficial insects, the value of garden tulips is often very low, making the flower unattractive for bees.

7. Double dahlias

Whether in the garden or on the balcony - dahlias (Dahlia) are among the classics in the flowerbed and are an indispensable part of garden design. In particular, the multitude of sometimes spectacular flower shapes and colors have helped the plant to achieve the cult status it has today. But it is precisely these opulent flowers that make life difficult for bees: Not only are the stamens responsible for pollen production often stunted, but the path to the nectar is also blocked by the numerous petals. Bees find no food here. If you don't want to do without dahlias, you can use unfilled varieties such as the orchid dahlias and the bishop dahlias, because bees like to fly to these.

6. Pansy

The pansy (Viola wittrockiana) is a well-known classic among balcony plants, but is also very popular in flower beds or as grave decorations. The plant particularly impresses with its enormous color spectrum: Almost all shades of the rainbow, as well as various flower drawings can be found on the pansies. Bees, on the other hand, do not enjoy the colorful flowers - due to the long breeding for the most beautiful bloom possible, the pansies' nectaries are often stunted, so that they offer little or no food for beneficial insects. In the closely related horn violet (Viola cornuta) Fortunately, this problem does not occur, which makes it a great alternative to the bee-unfriendly pansy.

5. Geraniums

It is a long-running favorite on the terrace or balcony - the geranium (Pelargonium) is a real classic when it comes to planting flower boxes and pots in summer. With its bright colors and its wonderfully double flowers, the geranium is a real eye-catcher and transforms every balcony into an oasis of well-being. But what we humans like is a horror for the beneficial insects: The double flowers of the geranium ensure that the plants hardly produce any pollen and that the nectar is slumbering behind a wall of flower petals inaccessible to the insects. Thus the plants are useless for the bee. If you want to use more bee-friendly balcony plants, you should keep an eye on bluebells instead (Campanula) or lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) throw - these plants are not only beautiful to look at, but also provide bees with enough food.

4. Tree of Life

It is one of the most popular hedge plants and is often used as an evergreen privacy screen - the tree of life (Thuja occidentalis) is a popular guest in many gardens with its smooth, slightly shiny needles. In particular, their extremely frost-hardy and easy-care nature ensure that the hedge plant will be planted with pleasure. However, the tree of life is not a lifesaver for bees - like all conifers, the thuja relies on wind pollination, which is why it does not provide nectar or pollen for the small animals. But a hedge does not always have to be unfriendly to bees: Bee-friendly hedge alternatives that also look good would be, for example, privet (Ligustrum), Snowberry (Symphoricarpos) or the Deutzie (Deutzia).

3. forest trees

Unfortunately, not only conifers are unfriendly to bees - numerous forest trees are also worthless to the small insects. Especially oaks (Quercus), Birch trees (Betula) or book (Fagus) rely on wind pollination and therefore have no value for bees. Only the rare supply of honeydew that occurs when trees are infested with aphids ensures that bees can be found on the forest trees from time to time. Also aspens (Populus tremula) and alders (Alnus) are not a good bee pasture because they donate a small amount of pollen, but no nectar. In order to create a bee-friendly garden, it is therefore best to fall back on fruit trees: These not only provide bees with a very good range of food, but also reward their gardeners with delicious fruits. Even deciduous trees like the bees tree (Tetradium daniellii), the sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) or different types of willow (Salix) are ideal for bee-friendly planting.

2. Lilac

With its numerous, blue-violet flowers, the lilac (Syringa vulgaris) probably one of the most beautiful ornamental trees that can be found in the garden. In addition to its magnificent, almost opulent flower arrangement, the plant inspires above all with its wonderfully sweet scent that wafts through the entire garden. But despite the large number of flowers, the lilac is actually not a bee-friendly species: One problem with the plant is that many highly cultivated noble varieties only produce little nectar and are therefore not suitable as a fodder plant. But bees also avoid wild lilacs. The reason for this is the poisonous ingredients of the plant, which among other things make the nectar taste extremely bitter - this makes the plant extremely uninteresting. But don't worry - the black elder (Sambucus nigra), which is also known as lilac, is, in contrast to the common lilac, a very good bee pasture.

1. Forsythia

What a splendor of flowers - when the forsythia (Forsythia x intermedia) shows its numerous, golden yellow flowers in March, it turns into a real eye-catcher in the garden. The luminous eye-catcher, which is also known under the name of gold bells, is also very popular because of its frost resistance and compact growth. But anyone who believes that such a sea of ​​flowers is bee-friendly is wrong. In fact, the forsythia is a sham: the flowers look beautiful, but are dry, which means they do not produce nectar or pollen. The plant is completely worthless for bees because it does not provide them with any nourishment. A good alternative to forsythia is the cornel (Cornus mas), because this also blooms wonderfully yellow at the same time and is also a good bee pasture. Those who do not want to do without the forsythia can fall back on the ‘Beatrix Farrand’ variety - this is one of the few forsythia species that produce pollen.

Of course, in addition to plants that are unfriendly to bees, there are also numerous species that are particularly suitable for bees. In our Plantura bee pasture, for example, there are over 20 different types of bee-friendly herbs and flowers. Here we introduce you to our top 10 bee-friendly plants and in this article you will find 15 shrubs for bees.

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I am a student of agricultural sciences and a real village child. At home I have a small vegetable garden that I tend and look after, and I prefer to spend the time outside. When I'm not outdoors, I love to write. My love is not only for plants and writing, but also especially for the animal world.
Favorite fruit: currants and raspberries.
Favorite vegetables: salsify, savoy cabbage and potatoes.