What Color Flowers Do Bees Like?

What Color Flowers Do Bees Like?

bee on purple flower close up header

Let's face it…pollinators are really important little creatures. Without them, you can kiss your morning cup of coffee good-bye!

Coffee is just one plant that produces up to 50% better with visits from bees. One out of every three bites we eat need this support, and your local bees need your help!

Why Do Bees Help Humans? two bees on flower

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (our favorite department!) bees and other pollinators contribute to over $18 billion worth of crop production a year in this country alone! In fact, over 100 types of crops in the United States must be pollinated to produce food.

The global number is truly staggering. Pollinators like bees are responsible for 35% of the world's food crops.

So what can you do to help? Plant an abundance of flowers for these hard-working "flying farmers" to visit and gather their nectar.

After all, a bee has to eat to keep up its important work. What a win-win…a pretty landscape for you with flowers in your garden; and plenty of food for your local pollinators.

Plant More Flowers for Bees plant sentry logo

You're in the right spot for honey bee conservation, as we use Plant Sentry™ to protect your local environment from invasive plants and pests that might harm their ecosystem. As well, Nature Hills Nursery is proud of the sheer number of flowering plants we offer for sale online.

You'll find plenty of native trees, shrubs and flowers for your balcony or yard. In addition, you'll also find Extended Bloomers that flower from spring through fall!

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Flower Colors Attract Bees and Other Pollinators

Let's face it, plants are pretty smart. The flower has got to be one of the best evolutionary strategies for long-term survival…ever! bee on lilac

Bees evolved before the birth of seed-bearing plants called angiosperms. Because today's plants compete with many other neighboring blooms for their fair share of the pollinators; they started developing wild flowers to attract the bees' compound eyes.

Plants produce a plethora of flower forms, scents, color and markings. Take the Azalea's vibrant blotched throat as an example; or the enormous blooming panicles of Lilac composed of hundreds of tiny, nectar-rich true flowers that offer a "one-shop" bee buffet!

Bees' mouthparts include jaws and a hollow, hairy tongue (called a proboscis) for sipping nectar. The elaborate, tubular blooms of Bee Balm (Monarda) are perfectly coevolved to entice bees closer.

So…What Color Do Bees Prefer? colors of flowers that bees like

While each bloom may also be displaying ultraviolet markings unseen by the human eye; there are several reputed studies done on bee's favorite flowers; testing for brightness, chroma and hue. The following colors seem to attract the most types of bees, whether they be: mason bees, orange-legged furrow bees, honey bees or one of the native bumble bees:

  • Yellow
  • Purple
  • Blue
  • White

Use the search bar at NatureHills.com to find your favorites. We offer the species of many of these plants; along with improved, showy nativar and cultivars to populate your Pollinator Gardens.


Best Yellow Flowers for Bees

Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)

Goldenrod (Solidago)


St. John's Wort (Hypericum)

Oregon Grape (Mahonia)

Witch Hazel (Hamamelis)

yellow flowers for bees collage

Best Purple & Blue Flowers for Bees


Gayfeather (Liatris)

Bee Balm (Monarda)

Coneflower (Echinacea)

Blue False Indigo (Baptisia)

Chaste tree (Vitex)

purple flowers for bees collage

Best White Flowers for Bees

McKay's White Potentilla

Blackberry bushes (Rubus)

Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum)

Viburnum bushes

Hedge Cotoneaster

White Flowering Chives (Allium)

white flowers for bees collage

Best Flowering Trees for Bees flowering trees for bees collage

Linden trees (Tilia cordata, common name Basswood)

Sourwood trees (Oxygendrum)

Black Gum trees (Tupelo)

Maybe you've heard of Tupelo honey? Bees love these wildlife-friendly trees and they are a treasure, for sure!


Bees Are Picky Eaters

Please remember, if you plant it…bees can CHOOSE to come. They tend to have gourmet appetites, and will choose their very favorite flowering plant to visit.

No wonder why flowers are so pretty! They are all trying to outshine each other to coax the bees to visit.

At least when you plant blooms in the bees' favorite colors…you'll adore the way your yard looks! Enjoy shopping on our site, and please let us know if you have any plant questions.

flower garden

More Resources From NatureHills.com

Create a Beautifully Useful Pollinator Gardens

Top Flowering Plants to Help Pollinators

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