Bees and butterflies get along. They will happily live alongside each other in your garden or out in nature. Butterflies and bees will fly away if there is already another insect on a flower. Butterflies and bees don’t fight and are great pollinators for your fruit trees or vegetable patch.
Do bees attack butterflies?
A honey bee will only attack and sting a predator that threatens them or their nest. If a butterfly accidentally flies near a bee hive the bees may defend themselves and attack. Bees won’t attack a butterfly or any insect unless it seems like a threat so they get along happily in your garden or out foraging for nectar.
Do butterflies help bees?
Butterflies and bees feed on the same food which is nectar or pollen from flowers. Butterflies don’t help bees directly, but you can help them both by planting native flowers, and annual flowering plants like petunias and alyssum for them to feed on.
Butterflies and bees help the ecosystem in general as they help to pollenate flowers and fruit. By continuing the growth of plant species by this process, they do actually help each other. They both help the survival of habitat they live in provides food and shelter for both bees and butterflies.
Why bees and butterflies are great for your garden
Bees and butterflies are great for your garden because they both help to pollenate flowering plants and fruit. If you have a vegetable patch, both butterflies and bees can pollenate the flowers of pumpkin, tomatoes, capsicum and strawberry needed to grow the fruit.
Bees and butterflies are great for pollenating other flowers in your garden and will allow the flower to set seed and reproduce. I have grown annuals like viola year on year by letting the seeds set and fall onto the soil. The will then pop up when the next season comes around.
Relationship between bees, butterflies and flowers
Bees, butterflies and flowers have an interconnected relationship in the environment. Flowers provide pollen to bees which they use to make honey. Butterflies will also collect pollen to feed on. In return, the flowers can reproduce in the next year by forming seeds or set fruit which contains the seeds.
Why bees and butterflies are attracted to flowers
Bees are attracted to flowers because of their color and smell. Bees are particularly attracted to purple, white and yellow flowers. They cannot see the color red, so are not as attracted to these types of flowers. Butterflies enjoy a range of flowers and have excellent visual range seeing ultraviolet and polarized light through their photoreceptors.
They are attracted to pollen filled flowers by detecting them with their photoreceptors and are able to tell the difference between a flower full of pollen and one without.
Why are bees and butterflies great for your garden?
Bees and butterflies are great for your garden, here’s why:
They pollenate your plants
when they collect nectar from flowers, they transfer it from one to another, which pollenates the flower to produce the fruit or seed. If you grow tomatoes, capsicum, pumpkin or aubergene, these will all need a visit from a bee or butterfly to grow fruit.
They help you to grow plants from seed
Bees and butterflies can pollenate annual flowers which will help them to set seed. You can then collect the seed or allow it to drop to the ground will give you plants year to year without any cost. Vegetables like carrots, lettuce, bok choy and pumpkin can be grown from seed collected from the plant in this way.
They let you know your garden is healthy
Having bees and butterflies visit your garden is a great sign you have a healthy garden space. Avoid using pesticides and grow a wide variety of plants with bright flowers and you will create a haven for bees and butterflies. Place a shallow saucer with a rough stone in it to give them something to drink to make your garden extra appealing.
They are a joy to watch
Even the serious among us has stopped to watch a butterfly float past us. I love watching bees visit my garden and collect their nectar. As bee colonies decline, it is nice to know that I can do a little bit to help them out, and so can you. You would be surprised how only a few plants with flowers are needed to get both bees and butterflies to visit your garden. Try planting some bright flowers in your garden to give bees and butterflies a good feed.
Do bees and butterflies get along? – Final thoughts
Nature is a wonderful thing and there is the space for insects to live happily alongside each other. Giving bees and butterflies plenty of food in the form of native or exotic flowers or even flowers in your vegetable patch can help them to grown and breed happily. I love growing rosemary for the gorgeous purple flowers and because they attract bees and butterflies to my garden.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.