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Do Bees Like Roses? (Answered)

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Flowers and bees have a mutualistic relationship. Bees rely on flowers for nectar and pollen whereas flowers rely on bees for cross-pollination. In addition, bees play a great role in the life of many plants and flowers by pollination.

Do bees like roses?

Bees like roses; in fact, they are perhaps the most common rose pollinator. Roses contain varying amounts of nectar and fragrance and also produce a lot of pollen that attracts bees. However, roses with fewer petals and wider openings are most favorite to the bees.

Bees rely on the flowers for pollen and nectar that provide them food and energy. And the roses are the perfect combination of pollen, color, beautiful scent, and shape as well.

Different roses attract different bees depending on their size and color. In general, bumblebees and honey bees both attract roses that contain large amounts of pollen, nectar, and fragrance.


Bumblebees prefer vibrant and strong scented roses. They mostly like wild roses, English roses, and hybrid tea roses as they are vibrant enough, fragrant enough, produce much nectar and pollen and are also perfectly shaped for the bumblebees.

While foraging for nectar and pollen, bumblebees are some kind of choice as well. Actually, they are highly attracted to wild roses that have fewer petals and wider openings. They highly prefer blue, purple, and mostly yellow colors. 

They are blind to red color and so, don’t like red roses much.

Honey bees: 

Honey bees prefer mostly the big clumps of flowers that provide them with much nectar and pollen. Actually, honey bees don’t want to spend their energy gathering a small amount of nectar and pollen so, they prefer big flowers that will provide them a bountiful supply.

Though roses are very low pollen flowers for them, honey bees like some wild species of roses that are very large in size and produce much nectar. Floribunda roses, Grandiflora roses, hybrid teas, etc. are the roses that honey bees attract. 

But to feed pollen to their baby larvae in hives, they can also choose normal roses as well.

Do roses attract bees?

Yes, roses attract bees with their strong beautiful fragrance and vibrant color. Moreover, bees are attracted to those flowers that contain huge pollen and nectar. And roses bear large amounts of pollen that provide bees a great source of protein and nourish them. 

The shape also attracts bees as the petals and nectars are nicely arranged and bees can suck up nectars and pollens easily.

Roses with wider openings are their favorite as wider openings allow them to gather more pollen and nectar. So, they mostly like wild roses. Moreover, a chemical compound which is a health-promoting property for plants, named coumarin, is also produced by roses. 

It’s a plant secondary metabolite that gives off a certain fragrance and attracts bees.

Are roses bee-friendly? Are roses good for honey bees?

Yes, roses are bee-friendly and even bees are the most common pollinators. Bees really like the juicy nectars of roses as their food and they’re helpful for their growth and nourishment. 

They fly from one rose to another to drink the nectar and in return get covered in rose pollen and as a result, pollination happens.

Their relationship is called mutualistic as they get help from each other for a better living. Pollination helps roses to produce new flowers and seeds. And the pollen bees get from roses is fed to the brood. In this way,

Roses are also good for honey bees. In fact, roses are a great source of forage for honey bees and they are keen to gather pollen from the beautiful anthers of wild roses. 

From roses, honey bees gather nectar and when they are full of nectar they get back to the work of making honey bees. Roses produce a lot of pollen that is the source of protein and helps to nourish their body.

Why do bees like roses?

Bees are the most efficient pollinator of roses. Actually, bees like roses as they are vibrant in color, have a beautiful sweet fragrance, and produce huge pollen along with nectar. Here the reasons are briefly described why bees like roses:


While foraging, bees fly very fast. So, color plays a great role to attract bees because they are tempted by various colors of flowers. Bees mostly like vibrant colors like violet, blue, white, and yellow. 

Though red doesn’t work much to attract bees as they can’t see the color of red.


Fragrance is one of the important factors that attract bees. Roses produce a sweet strong smell that works well to gather bees.  They even produce a chemical compound named coumarin that gives off a certain smell that attracts bees.


Bees also attract roses as they allow them to sit properly in the center of the flower and gather pollen and nectar comfortably. Bees mostly prefer wider openings and fewer petals roses as they can suck up nectars easily there. 

But the shape also depends on the size of the bees as well.

Pollen and nectar:

Bees need pollen and nectar to stay alive as they are a great source of protein that nourishes them. Not all kinds of roses produce nectar but they are a great source of pollen that attracts them.

Which roses do bees like?

Bees really like to wander nearby roses when they are brimming with nectar. However, they are not attracted to all types of roses. They are attracted to some specific variants of roses.

Knockout Roses:

The Knock Out rose is a shrub that creates different vibrant roses.  However, they don’t really attract bees. This is because Knock Out roses are usually found hybridized. 

This means they do not produce high levels of nectar which is the main source of attracting bees.

Red Roses:

Though red roses are one of the most vibrant and colorful among roses, bees are not attracted to them. Because bees are not visualized to color. Rather they are attracted by the scent and pollen of roses.

Climbing roses:

Climbing roses attract most to its pollinator. They provide food and nest to their pollinators. Rosa ‘Parkdirektor Riggers’, rosa iceberg, rosa ‘Crown Princess Margareta’ etc. are the climbing roses that attract bees most.

Drift Roses:

Drift roses attract bees. They produce little nectar but high-quality pollen which helps to attract bees.

Dog Roses:

They are called Rosa canina. The dog rose bears an attractive scented smell. This beautiful scent attracts bees to dog roses.

Yellow Roses:

They are a welcome addition to any garden. But bees are not attracted to all types of yellow roses. They only prefer to be attracted by single stem roses in yellow variant roses.

Multiflora roses:

Multiflora roses are one of the greatest plants that attract animals and wildlife. The abundant and showy pollen of multiflora roses attracts bees highly. The small flowers of this rose variant are easily accessed by bees.

Wild roses:

Wild roses are like open nature flowers. Wild roses attract bees more than any other variant of roses as they are rich in pollen.

Which roses do not attract bees?

Knockout roses don’t attract bees. They are hybridized shrubs and need low maintenance. They are disease-resistant and can tolerate drought and heat. But knockout roses don’t smell that much and the amount of nectar is very little. 

The shape of the flower is also not preferable to bees. So, they don’t attract bees.

Also, bees don’t like red roses. Actually, they are blind to red and can’t visualize the color. They, in fact, recognize the red color as black which seems a threat to them. So, red roses don’t attract bees as well.

Do honey bees like the rose of Sharon? What roses do leafcutter bees like?

Rose of Sharon is not a rose but they are large, fruitful flowers that come in late summer. These flowers are like a magnet that attracts a large number of bees

The reason is, they bloom in various vibrant colors and produce a great amount of pollen and nectars which attract not only bees but also bugs, butterflies, and hummus as well.

Leafcutter bees are native pollinators of roses. They cut circles from ornamental leaves and petals to construct their nests. They like roses for cutting leaves and collecting pollen as well. 

Multiflora roses, rosa rugosa, lady of Shalott, rosa iceberg, etc. are the roses that leafcutter bees mostly like.

Final Thought

Roses are bee-friendly plants and attract bees a lot. Actually, bees like roses as they are very vibrant in color, perfectly shaped, and produce a large number of pollens and nectars. They have mostly wider openings and fewer petals which bees generally like.

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