Do Some Flowers Contain Nectar That Deters Bees?

Following on from the page about plants toxic for bees, I thought I would continue with a page about nectar that is reported to 'deter' bees. 

This information is again based on the paper: The ecological significance of toxic nectar - Lynn S. Adler (OIKOS 91: 409 – 420. Copenhagen 2000) - see right),  but I would be interested to hear about other relevant scientific papers on this subject.

The paper does not specifically state that the flowers themselves deter bees – but lists papers that note a deterrent effect of nectar. 

It would seem reasonable that if nectar deters bees, the flower itself might also deter bees, but I do not have access to the papers listed by Adler, nor do I have information describing the ways in which the bees were 'deterred'

If you have an allergy to bee stings, it is also not clear from this paper whether planting these species around eating areas and the home, would keep them away, or not.

 If you have further information on this subject, please do let me know via the contact page.  Thank you.

(Please note, this website receives visitors from all over the world, and these plants may or may not be present in your own country).

Plant Species
& Family



Allium cepa (Liliaceae)

Deterred honeybees

Walker et al 1972

Aloe littoralis ((Liliaceae)

Prunus dulcis (Rosaceae)

Tamarix pentranda (Tamaricaceae)

Deterred honey bees

Hagler and Buchmann 1993

Tabebuia rosea (Bignoniaceae)

Correlated with decreased visits by anthrophorid bees

Frankie et al 1982

It's no surprise that flower nectar affects honey produced by honey bees.  It can not only affect the flavour, but toxic effects have been recorded.  More later!

Articles about bees and foraging

Go back to Home page