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.

 

Was this page helpful?

Related Content from OSU Extension

Ask an Expert

Have a question? Ask an Expert!

Ask an Expert is a way for you to get answers from the Oregon State University Extension Service. We have experts in family and health, community development, food and agriculture, coastal issues, forestry, programs for young people, and gardening.

Ask us a question