If you are growing flowering plants in your garden, you would have noticed that bees are quite important insects to attract. So you might wonder if bees like alyssum?
Yes, bees do like alyssum because of their scent, pollens, appearance, and flower arrangement among other reasons.
As bees like alyssum, you should plant them in the garden near plants that really need bees.
Why Do Bees Like Alyssum?
Why does alyssum attract bees so much? Here are the reasons why alyssum plants attract bees.
1. Strong Scent
It is no secret that sweet scents attract bees. You could argue that all flowers that produce pollen have a sweet scent. However, this is not always the case with flowers!
A distinct characteristic of alyssum plants is that they have a clearly sweet fragrance which makes these plants even more alluring to bees. Bees have smell receptors which start transmitting information only when they are near the desired plants.
2. Pollen as Food
Bees need pollen and naturally, any plant with a flowering tendency will act as a prospective source of food. By food we mean pollen. Alyssum flowers very well and will be an appropriate food option for wandering bees.
If the bees have already ventured into the path of the alyssum plants, they will be sure to pay them a visit quite often when they are flowering. Who knows, they may just discover other flowering plants while looking for alyssum flowers.
Also, pollen is the raw material for honey. Without pollen, bees would not be able to produce honey of good quality.
3. Flower Arrangement
Another reason why bees find it worthwhile to visit your alyssum flowers is their unique arrangement. Looking at a blooming alyssum, you’ll notice the high density of flowers in a considerably small space.
The flowers of the alyssum are small, but they grow in clusters, and the alyssum flowers profusely from June to the first signs of frost.
If you deadhead the plants in time, you’ll get constant reblooming! In the eyes of the bees, this means plenty of pollen.
Each bee can easily visit several flowers within a short time span, gathering more pollen as they go from flower to flower.
Is Alyssum Poisonous To Humans? What about Cats, Dogs, or Horses?
4. Bright Colors
The Alyssums come in bright colors like purples, pinks, oranges, and whites. These happen to be colors that bees are more drawn to. Bees have excellent eyesight and can spot colors a lot faster than we humans!
So, the pink and purple flowers of the alyssum would draw them in faster. Not to mention that other dull flowers in the garden will play the second choice to bees if your alyssum is flowering at the same time as them.
5. Food Scarcity
Alyssum plants may not be the first choice for hungry bees. But in times of desperate times, desperate measures apply. In winter when most flowers and plants are dormant, the alyssum can still flower.
So instead of starving, the bees will turn to alyssum plants to not starve. This suits the bees particularly well since other flowering plants may not be in bloom in the peak season when bees need high volumes of pollen to feed their growing larvae.
If your alyssum is flowering at the right time for hungry bees, deadheading will ensure their food source stays available for much longer. Doing so will contribute greatly to the environment in your garden and the ecosystem.
What Are The Benefits Of Having Bees?
When we go to the supermarket, do we ever stop to think about which foods are possible to harvest without bees pollinating plants and trees?
- As the bees fly from one flower to another they collect the pollen on their hind legs. The bees then transfer this pollen to the next flower they visit. Bees pollinate 85% of the food that we eat, bees are therefore vital for climate change, our environment, and the production of coffee.
- No other insect produces food that humans consume, but bees. Honey is highly nutritious and provides vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Honey is a good source of vitamins B1, B3, and B6 as well as Iron, Zinc, Potassium, and Calcium.
- Bees make their honey in wax honeycombs. The wax of these honeycombs has many uses. The wax has long been used to make candles, and it is also used in the making of cosmetics. More recently it is used in beauty products, wood floor waxes, and polishing the rounds of cheese.
- Wax is also used to preserve Copper and Bronze as well as waterproof leather.
- Honey can be used as a healthy substitute in your tea, instead of sugar.
- It can be used in your baking and cooking and is a less potent sweetener for desserts and even for savory dishes.
- It has powerful antibacterial properties. It kills bacteria and stops infections on surface wounds, it finds wide application in home remedies for treating everyday aches and pains including the cold.
It is great to have bees, however, have a look at the reasons why you might not want too many bees or any at all.
Disadvantages of Attracting Bees
Until now we’ve looked at the numerous reasons why bees are a blessing to have in the garden. However, there are also a few drawbacks making bees a nuisance and sometimes a danger to have in the garden.
While out and about in the garden, the chances of being stung are high, assuming you have a high population of bees visiting your alyssum plants. This is an unsavory thought considering the insect sting comes with pain, swelling, and the possibility of an infection.
b. Hazards to Pets and Children
If you have pets such as dogs and cats, they are not immune to bee stings either. Neither are toddlers and children! A few angry bees could cause a lot of problems for your family, animals included.
Plus, if you do depend on birds for seeds to be dispersed, bees could deter them from visiting the garden. Bee stings can be more troubling for smaller animals and children so it’s best you avoid such a situation completely.
c. Excessive Populations
If bees like it enough in your garden, they may decide to settle in the garden. Having set up a hive in your garden, their numbers could grow exponentially large, this poses a problem. They could overtake your garden and even chase away other types of insects.
Too many bees in the garden could be rather dangerous since whole swarms could become angered and this causes them to attack. This poses a risk to anyone or any living creature in the line of fire.
So, it may be best to just let the odd one of two bees come to your garden instead of having a whole swarm of stinging bees.
d. Bee Allergies
It may seem odd but many people could be allergic to bees. Not because of insects but rather the pollen they carry. Many people sustain allergy-like symptoms from the air during the flowering season due to excessive pollen in the air. The same applies to bees as they carry pollen on their bodies.
Bees are a vital part of the garden ecosystem, carrying pollen back to their hive to turn into nectar and eventually honey. But, that’s not all! They also play an instrumental role in pollinating plants or fruit trees that are not self-pollinating!
Yes, bees do like alyssum because of the pollen, scent, and color of flowers that they have. Also, alyssum may be the only option for bees when other plants are not flowering at the same time as alyssum plants.
If you don’t have many flowering plants in the garden that attract bees, you should plant alyssum plants as bees like them.
Besides bees, alyssum plants also attract butterflies and hoverflies. Butterflies and hoverflies both act as pollinators while the larvae of hoverflies are known to feed on aphids on the underside of the leaves of most plants.
Alyssum plants tend to flower around June. They will continue flowering several times in their flowering season as long as you deadhead them. They will continue to bloom until winter arrives with particularly harsh frosty weather.