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Do roses attract bees?

Roses attract bees

The rose is the queen of the garden. Many people prefer to have roses in their garden and enjoy their beauty and fragrance. There are more than 300 species of roses in the world. But for conscious gardeners who understand the importance of bees to humans, it is not only the beauty that matters, but also the desire to participate in creating a favourable environment for the little pollinators that bees are. Let’s explore whether roses really do attract bees and help them make the world a better place.

How roses attract bees

The rose is by far the most purchased flower in the world today. Rose flowers are simple, consisting of five sepals and petals. The centre of the flower has stamens protruding outwards, while the pistil is hidden inwards in the peduncle. The flowers of cultivated roses amaze with their diversity: the size of flowers varies from 1.8 to 18 cm, the number of petals can be from five to a hundred, there are more than a dozen different forms. Flowers are both single and in inflorescences, and in an inflorescence they can be from three to two hundred.

Very rich colour range of roses, there are no only pure-blue. But in addition to monochrome flowers roses delight fans with amazing combinations of colours, giving birth to a unique play of colours on the petals, as well as spectacular shimmering shades.

Many roses are attracted by their beautiful and varied fragrance. The scent of Rose damascena, with which the term “rose fragrance” is associated, is different from the fragrance of Rose rugosa and Rose centifolia, Rose odorata and Rose moschata. Many roses have different notes in their scent, from fruity and citrus to incense and spice odours. Roses are true perfumes, created by nature and the talent of breeders.

Not all roses are beneficial to bees

Despite their beautiful appearance, great variety and fragrance, not all roses can be useful for bees.

As we know in flowers, the male reproductive organ of flowering plants, the stamen, secretes pollen, which is transferred to the female reproductive organ, the pistil, with the help of pollinators. Some hybrid rose species simply lack these reproductive organs. In the process of selection, they’ve become extra petals. Therefore, bees cannot collect pollen from these types of roses.

This type of rose, which will be useless for bees, can be identified by the characteristic terry bud, which consists of many petals that have left no room for pollen to form that bees could collect.

A rose with terry buds does not produce pollen because its reproductive organs have been replaced by petals.
A rose with terry buds does not produce pollen because its reproductive organs have been replaced by petals.

Therefore, if you want your roses to attract bees, choose varieties with open inflorescences that have stamens and pistils. Bee-favourable plants have flowers that are unfilled and wide open, so pollen is within reach of the bees.

As far as nectar is concerned, unfortunately all roses lose out to most honey plants. Roses will produce virtually no nectar for bees. So if you are offered to buy rose honey, know that it is fake.


Roses are beautiful flowers. They are so much loved to be grown to give as gifts. But if you want to create additional favourable conditions for bees, you should choose roses with wide open flowers so that the bees can get to the pollen they need.

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