If you are growing pansies, you might be wondering whether bees like pansies and if they are suitable for your pansies. So, in this article let’s learn all about pansies and bees.
Pansies mostly bloom during the late fall or early spring, which makes them perfect for the bees. Although bees might not be active during the late fall, but during the early springs, pansies can provide nectar and pollen to the bees that feel drained after completing their hibernation.
One cannot confirm whether the bees like the pansies, but they feed on them and regain their energy. Bees also get attracted to pansies due to their extensive range of colors. So, we can agree that bees like pansies.
If you require detailed information about the relation between bees and pansies, keep reading this article. We will also discuss how both pansy flowers and bees can be beneficial for each other.
How do Pansy flowers benefit the bees?
Pansies are one of the most reliable flowers for the bees because of their flowering time. Let us see why and how the bees draw benefits from the pansies.
Pansies are the lifesavers
You can refer to pansies as the lifesavers of the bees. This is because the pansies produce flowers in the early spring.
During the winter months, the production of the flowers is significantly less in number. Due to which the bees do not get enough nectar and pollen from the flowers, they end up starving.
When the pansies bloom in their early season, the bees can feed on these flowers to regain their strength and energy.
Due to the early blooms, the bees can get their food as early as possible and get saved from starvation and death.
Although sometimes, it becomes difficult to access the food from the pansy flowers due to less or absence of nectar and pollen, the flowers have it just during the exact time when the bees are in immediate need of it.
Pansies are readily available in most gardens because they are grown extensively due to their colors and species. So, it becomes easy for the bees to count on the pansies.
Another reason is that even the tiniest bees can easily access pollen and nectar from the pansy flowers.
Are pansies good for bees?
Pansy flowers are just perfect for the bees.
Pansies are beautiful flowers available in different types and colors. They are available in most gardens and bloom in the early spring and fall, which is the exact time when the bees need food.
The blooming time of pansies saves the bees from starvation. But, sooner or later, the pansy flowers become useless because they lack nectar, or the bees cannot access the flowers.
Do bees like Pansies?
Whether the bees like pansy flowers is not confirmed, but one thing is sure that the bees need to feed on the pansy flowers.
Due to fewer flower blooms, the bees drain out of energy entirely after starving during the winter season. This is the time the bees require food to get their strength back.
Early spring is when the pansies have their first blooms, ideal for bees searching for food. Due to this coincidence, the bees can quickly get their food from the pansies and get the required energy for survival.
In recent times, plant breeders are giving more importance to breeding pansies so that the flowers can look gorgeous instead of being fed upon by the bees.
This is a problem because the life of bees relies entirely upon the pansy flowers, and if the bees fail to get any nectar and pollen from the pansies, the bees will die due to starvation.
Do the bees get attracted to the Pansy flowers?
Pansies can attract the bees because of their beautiful splash of colors. If you want the bees to help pollinate your pansies, you must take good care of them so that the bees can get attracted.
Pansies grow best when they receive bright sunlight and cool weather conditions. Planting and growing pansies during the early spring and the fall months are ideal.
Taking proper care of the plants and providing all their requirements from time to time will keep them healthy and produce a flush of blooms throughout the year.
Although the pansies can produce flowers throughout the year, it is not sure if they will have nectar and pollen as food for bees. So, the bees tend to visit the pansy flowers during the warm months of the year.
Warm months are the ideal times when the pansies can offer food to the bees.
Are pansies a good choice for pollinators?
Pansies can be considered a good choice for pollinators, mainly during early spring when the bees are weak and badly need food to gain some energy.
But, all pansies are not a good choice for the bees because nowadays, the pansies are mainly grown to look beautiful, and they might not contain enough nectar for the bees.
In recent times, the seeds of these pansy flowers are constantly being influenced by the plant breeders, due to which they no more remain attractive to the bees for pollination like in the old days.
In recent times gardeners are constantly controlling the natural lifestyle of the pansy seeds for their profit.
The gardeners neglect the natural way of flower production and constantly feed the pansies with all types of chemical fertilizers to make the flowers look big and fluffy, making money faster and easier.
The gardeners only concentrate on the features of the pansies like color, symmetry, angle, size of the flowers, and many other things. The money-centric breeders hardly care about the other natural processes that the pansies might require.
Are pansies bee-friendly?
Due to all the changes in their natural characteristics and natural method of growing, the pansy flowers possess very little nectar and pollen. Therefore, the bees are unable to access much food from them.
But still, sometimes, the flowers can produce the nectar and the pollen when they grow naturally during the early springtime.
At that time, the flowers are still blooming. This is the peak time when the bees are done with hibernation and are in dire need of food for getting back their strength.
The only reason for pansies not being bee-friendly flowers is the breeders who keep manipulating the seeds and compromise with the natural characteristics of the pansy flowers.
They give more attention to growing the flowers big and beautiful than allowing them to grow naturally, which results in loss of their pollination ability to a great extent.
How do bees pollinate the pansies?
Experiments have consistently proved that insect pollination is essential for the pansies before they set their seeds.
The bees feed on the nectar of the pansies to regain their strength after hibernation. But the bees also produce the most delicious honey.
Along with that, bees also help in increasing the number of pansies in the garden. So, you might not need to buy them every year.
Observations say that bees and butterflies are the most commonly seen pollinators for the pansies, as pansy pollen can be found primarily on their mouths immediately after visiting the flowers. They visit the pansies constantly throughout the year.
Especially bumblebees are the most common insects found around the pansies. They are more efficient than any other insects and keep visiting the pansy flowers every season and even sometimes in critical weather conditions.
In most times, the pansy flowers are pollinated by insects. During the remaining time, the pansies self-seed themselves.
Yes, pansies are capable of self-seeding. You can say that they go through insect pollination 60% of the time, and the rest 40% pollinate by themselves.
Investigations have proved that the bees’ visit to the flowers is very much constant, especially during their growing season. In 60% of the cases, the bees visit only one flower from one plant despite many flowers in one particular plant.
In 45% of the cases, after the bees are done feeding from one pansy flower, they visit another flower of the same plant, while in the other remaining cases, it moves on to another neighboring plant far away.
Sometimes, the pansy flowers self-pollinate themselves (two flowers of the same plant) during the visiting time of the bees if the pollen from any previously visiting bees is not present in their mouthparts. Chances are self-pollination of pansy flowers in such a situation is 40%.
Pansies are suitable for the bees, and bees are good for the pansies.
One cannot assure whether the bees like the pansies, but yes, they get attracted by the pansies due to their wide varieties that come in so many different colors.
Most of the time, the pansies don’t have any nectar and pollen to offer, but they do have the nectar and pollen when they grow in the early season, which is the ideal time for the bees to feed to regain their energy.
Pansies are not harmful to the bees; it is just that pansies fail to give the bees food most of the time due to the plant breeders who find and use an easy and quick way of earning by changing their natural growing habits.
Ref: The University of Arkansas, Britannica, Utah State University, Wikipedia, The University of Georgia, The Pennsylvania State University, The Royal Horticultural Society.