Oregon State University Extension Service

Bumblebees and lavender

While both bumblebees (Bombus spp.) and honey bees (Apis mellifera) are attracted to lavender (Lavandula spp.), the plant is more popular among bumblebees.

Bumblebees’ long tongues allow them to efficiently forage from lavender’s tubular flowers and more quickly extract nectar than the shorter-tongued honey bees, which must jam their head inside the flower to reach for the nectar.

University of Sussex researchers found that bumblebees spent on average 1.1 to 1.4 seconds per flower versus 3.5 seconds for honey bees — a significant difference when multiplied over thousands of flowers. Learn more about the study.

Source URL: https://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/pollinators/bumblebees-lavender