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Do bees know when a flower is dead?

Hello, sorry it probably sounds like a stupid question because of course they do? It's just that my catmint has been buzzing wildly since the start of June and I keep on thinking to myself to cut it back (and maybe encourage more flowers?) as now the flowers are looking well past their best but the bees keep on coming back so I don't want to chop away at a valuable resource to them. The flowers almost look like dry flowers! It's crazy. Advice appreciated, thanks.


  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,196

    So long as the flowers are secreting nectar or producing pollen the bees will visit them.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • LoganLogan Posts: 2,532
    Bees see flowers differently to us, flowers give off an electric field which the bees can feel.
  • Logan is right, they give off a tiny electrical charge that the Bees (and other pollinators) can detect from a surprising distance away. The flowers also give off certain hormones too and these two things are what tell the Bees whether or not a flower is still productive, and even when the flower is 'resting' (re-building it's reserves and pollen).

    When a flower is 'empty' it stops it's electrical charge and gives off different hormones too. The Bees know this means it can no longer give them anything and they'll avoid it.

    As far as I've learnt, there is also a theory that says that the 'glow' that flowers show in ultra-violet (what Bees and other pollinators see in) fades as the flower becomes less productive, and so becomes less obvious and less attractive to visit.

  • Louise BLouise B Posts: 81
    Thanks for the replies. It's still buzzing like there is a hive in there but there isn't. I wish I had more lavenders now as they are ready to open but not many compared to the catmint.
  • annmarie 2annmarie 2 Posts: 155

    don't you think there is a lot of bees this year my garden full of them ,busy buzzing around the lavender

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