When we think of honeybees, we tend to picture the colour yellow. I mean, bees themselves are yellow and honey is golden in colour. We then look at what bees are after, pollen. Pollen is bright yellow. So it is only natural to ask: Are bees attracted to yellow?
Bees are attracted to the colour yellow for many reasons. One reason is that pollen is indeed yellow. Bees spend their time looking for plants with large amounts of pollen to ensure that they can get the most of it
But before we get into why they like the colour yellow, we have to discuss how bees even see colour. Since their eyesight is complex (they have five eyes), we have to first dive into the makeup of the eye.
Can Bees See Yellow?
Bees have amazing and complex eyesight. Within their eyes, bees have three photoreceptors that allow them to see colour. In humans, we see red, blue, and green. All other colours that we can see are made up of a combination of these colours.
Bees also have three photoreceptors. These photoreceptors are ultraviolet light, blue, and green. Bees cannot see red, but they can see some red wavelengths like shades of yellow and orange.
“Bee’s Purple” is the name given to a colour that humans cannot see. It is a mixture of yellow and ultraviolet. Only bees can see this colour combination. Flowers give off ultraviolet light and use it in many ways.
Some flowers have an iridescent sheen to them that attracts bees looking for nectar to eat. These petals seem to change colour depending on which way the bee is looking at them.
Other flowers have ultraviolet light maps that show bees where the nectar is located and draws them in.
Why are Bees Attracted to Yellow?
Bees are attracted to yellow as they can easily see the colour. Pollen is yellow. Bees love pollen, thus, bees are naturally attracted to the colour yellow.
It is important to note that bees are also attracted to blue, violet, and purple hues in flowers as well. This is because bees can only see a certain spectrum of colour.
It is also thought that purple and blue flowers tend to make the most pollen and bees know that. It’s why they love lavender, after all!
While it is unknown why these colours of flowers make more pollen than their warm-toned counterparts, we do find it ironic that bees are so often associated with oranges, yellows, and reds but yet prefer the purple or blue flowers.
Dandelions are one of the best yellow flowers for bees and are completely free. Just allow them to grow in your lawn and bees will swarm to them. Rudbeckia and zinnias, in shades of yellow, are great too!
Not all yellow flowers are good for bees! If the flower has complex flower heads with little nectar then a bee will ignore them. Yellow roses and dahlias with complex petal structures are both bad.
Are Bees Attracted to You If You Wear Yellow?
When it comes to deciding what to wear, there really is no winning. Bees will be attracted to you if you dress in bright coloured clothes including whites or yellows. They also love blue or purple.
Adding a floral soap or fragrance will attract even more bees and wasps. They may mistake you for a giant flower and come to pollinate you.
On the other hand, bees cannot see red or dark colours and are more likely to feel threatened and sting you if you approach them wearing these colours. Darker colours make bees or wasps view you as a potential predator and this may make them aggressive.
Bees tend to be more into their flowers than trying to pollinate a human in a bright yellow dress, so you should be good. A bee may come near you, but they will quickly realize that you are not a flower and they will move on to the next thing.
Do not try to swat at any bees that fly your way, this can make them aggressive and defensive. Simply let the bee realize that you are not a delicious nectar-filled flower and they will soon be on their way.
Want to Attract Bees to Your Garden?
We’ve Put Together a Complete Guide to Attracting Bees to Your Garden Including Our Top 14 Plants You NEED to Have in Your Garden:
Bees are attracted to the colour yellow as it is one of the colours that they can see with ease. Bees have three photoreceptors that allow them to see any combination of ultraviolet light, blue, or green. This puts the bee’s colour scale from yellow to deep purple.
Bees tend to be more attracted to purple and blue flowers than any other type of flowers. This is because purple and blue flowers have been known to produce more pollen than any other colour.
Bees also are attracted to smell, so planting flowers full of fragrance will help increase the number of bees in your garden. This tip also goes for when you are dressing for an outdoor activity.
Bees cannot see red or dark colours and assume they are black. This makes them think you are a predator and they may be aggressive. Wearing bright colours and adding floral fragrances like perfume can make bees think you are a flower. This can attract bees to you, but they will soon be on their way when they realize you are not a tasty treat.