Helping bees by planting purple flowers

What is the love affair between bees and blue or purple flowers?

Flowering plants and bees have co-evolved for over 100 million years; the flowering plant has adapted to attract the bee to achieve cross pollination and fruit set, while the bee has adapted specific body parts and skills to drink nectar, carry pollen, and navigate to ensure nourishment and perpetuation of their species. This beautiful dance of mutualism is one of subtleties and finesse older than man and one that continues to this day in perfect order.

Flowers in the blue violet range produce the highest volume of nectar and the honeybee is born attracted to the color purple. This is no accident! Purple and blue colored flowers have essentially ‘taught’ the bee to love their color best to achieve pollination through this long co-evolution.

Bees prefer flowers in the violet-blue range because they have enhanced photoreceptor activity in blue & UV parts of the color spectrum. Just like humans, bees have trichromatic vision meaning they have three different photoreceptors in the retina. Humans' primary colors range is red, blue and green, while a bee has a primary color range of blue, green and ultraviolet light.

Purple and blue flowers bees love are: borage, lavender, salvia, rosemary, echinacea, echium, native hebe, chives, wisteria, corn flower, passion fruit, thai basil, hyssop, cat mint, and artichoke.

Planting these easy to grow blue and purple flowers in spring are an excellent way to help bee and other pollinator populations in your area to thrive!"


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