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Does Rosemary Attract or Repel Bees? (Answered)

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Rosemary belongs to the mint family. It contains the same aroma or strong smell as mint and related herbs. Therefore, it does two different tasks simultaneously. You can use the essential oil made from rosemary or plant some Rosemary herbs in your garden.

Although they originated from the mint family, and the essential oil is made of rosemary, can they attract & repel bugs? Not to worry, I will explain if they can or not. Keep with me and explore what you need to know.

Does rosemary attract or repel bees?

Rosemary attracts & repels bees in different ways. When you plant rosemary in your garden, the aroma or the scent will attract the bees. On the other hand, once the rosemary is used in making essential oil, it repels bees and other bugs. Now the decision is yours whether to attract or repel.

If you want to attract bees and other bugs, rosemary plants are for you. You need to plant some rosemary and let the aroma attract bees & other well-being bugs. Mainly, pollinators like bees are fond of the mint smell. 

They are attracted to the rosemary flowers to collect pollinate for the babies. 

Rosemary plants also ensure the best flowering in spring. During that time, the bees are attracted most to the best nectar sources. They cannot avoid rosemary and other mint herbs because of the strong aroma. But that can deter the bees as well.

When you use the rosemary leaves to make essential oil, it will work against the bees and other bugs. The main reason is added chemicals. The manufacturer adds some extra chemicals to make essential oil and rosemary leaves.

You must be sure whether to attract the bees or deter them from the surroundings. It depends on your choice. You have options to do both. But people mostly choose both. They want to plant rosemary in their garden and repel the bugs.

In that case, you need to use the essential oil of rosemary to repel the bugs and bees since the rosemary plants will attract them; you need to deter them.

Does creeping rosemary attract bees?

Creeping rosemary attracts bees. If you want to attract bees to your garden, you should grow creeping rosemary. Big and fragrant flowers attract bees because of their size and scent. The nectar from rosemary blooms attracts bees. 

Their hive receives nectar and pollen from the flower, which the bees can consume and transport back to the hive. Bees love rosemary since it is one of their favorite flowers. There are few nectar sources for newly emerging bees, and rosemary is one of them. 

They gather nectar and pollen for their young, which they then feed to them. Bees do like the scent and flavor of rosemary. Sweet nectar that bees can access with their tongues is hidden in the blossoms.

Do bees like rosemary? Is rosemary bee-friendly?

Bees do like rosemary. Bees work tirelessly to create honey in preparation for the long, cold winter. Winter is when food is limited, and the weather is unsuitable for their food collection task. 

That is difficult for bees because few flowers bloom during that time, but rosemary blossoms just as winter is about to end, acting as a beautiful flower to save the bees.

Rosemary is also bee-friendly. The primary reason is always rosemary’s nectar. Because the nectar is located quite deep within the flower, most insects cannot reach it. It remains protected from bees with long tongues that take nectar from the flower’s depths. 

Rosemary blooms contain concealed nectar that bees take and use to build honey in their colony. They combine glucose, sucrose, and fructose in the nectar, and as they transfer the honey through their honey storage.

Does rosemary produce pollen?

Rosemary produces pollen. Pollen Rosemary flowers have the typical “two-lipped” shape of flowers in the mint family. The upper and lower “lips” are formed by petals that have been fused, giving them the formation of two lips. 

People say that the flowers have long curved and arching stamens that rise against the upper lip of the flower. The anthers with their white pollen are small, so there is not much pollen in just two stamens on each flower. But the protein level is good, so that is good. 

There is a lot of pollen in rosemary pollen that is very pale. Bees can eat pollen from rosemary in your garden and help other flowers grow. Bees sometimes bring pollen back to their hive to feed their babies. 

Rosemary pollen is a good food source for young bees, and it comes from flowers.

How to attract bees with rosemary in the garden?

You can attract bees with rosemary in the garden in various ways. I will explain some of the easiest ways to attract bees to your garden.

Plant More Rosemary: 

Attracting bees will be easier if you plant more rosemary and other mint herbs. They all have the characteristics and smell to attract the bees differently. More rosemary means more aroma in the air. You need to put the rosary in different corners of the gardens.

It will help the bees come to the corner and find the flower trees more easily. As soon as the herb starts giving flowers, it will attract the bees with its aroma or strong smell. You might end up attracting other bugs too. There is nothing to worry about.

Don’t Use Pesticide: 

If you want to attract bees with rosemary, you have to be cautious about using pesticides. Because of the unsafe level of chemicals in pesticides, the bees won’t be tempted to the rosemary. 

Mainly, if you use the essential oil of rosemary, it will deter the bees. You must stop using chemicals to attract the bees.

Spread the Aroma: 

You cannot plant the rosemary and expect it to spread the aroma itself. You need to help the plants extend the sweet smell without facing any issues. 

For example, there should not be any anti-bees plants in your garden; otherwise, it will hinder the rosemary scent from spreading in the air.

How do I keep bees away from my rosemary plant?

You can keep bees away from your rosemary plant by following the below tips.

Rosemary Essential Oil: 

Using essential oil is one of the best tips to keep bees away from your rosemary plant. Rosemary essential oil is an unbeaten bee-repellent that will work magically. 

It has a bitter and chemical odor that deters most pollinators, including bees, aphids, and other insects. 


You can use cinnamon to keep bees away from the rosemary plants. Cinnamon contains a strong smell that bees can’t bear; therefore, using cinnamon would be another great way to repel bees from your garden. 

You can use the small pieces of cinnamon or mix them with hot water to make a spray.

Garlic Spray: 

Garlic is another excellent bee repeller. It works against insects and pollinators naturally. You can use the garlic cloves and place them around your rosemary plants; it will help repel bees from the surrounding. 

Another way could be to make a spray using garlic cloves and vinegar with hot water.

What other insects does rosemary attract?

Rosemary is a great nectar source for pollinators. Allow basil, oregano, and thyme to blossom, even if you lose some leaf output. Rosemary is an insect repellent. It also attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies.

The most common insects attracted to rosemary leaves are mosquito grubs. The female beetle lays eggs in clusters beneath the rosemary’s leaves. The resulting larvae are glossy brown and feed on the leaves. 

Gardeners who have detected a black garden ant invasion on their rosemary plants may want to add another insect to their yard.

The female speckled rosemary insect lays her eggs on the plant’s bottom, including leaves. While the ants often destroy the eggs, many develop into brown nymphs. They have huge eyes and black marks on their backs. 

Eventually, they will mature and settle on the plant’s leaves to feed on egg-laying ants.

Final thoughts

Rosemary plants attract the bees, but rosemary essential oil repels the bees. The main difference is the chemical; rosemary essential oil contains chemicals that create a solid and unbearable odor. It repels the bees. In contrast, rosemary plants spread an aroma to attract bees.

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