Can I Use Honey To Attract Bees? Be Careful!

As a beekeeper and blogger, I’m often asked the question “can I use honey to attract bees?”.

And it’s a great question that deserves an in-depth answer, rather than a simple yes or no.

So for today, we’re going to dive into this topic and look at the possible benefits and risks of using honey to attract bees, as well as some alternatives, so you can make an informed decision on the best approach for your beekeeping.

Don’t have time? Here’s a Quick Answer: Yes, honey can be used to attract bees. Honey is a natural food source for bees, and it contains sugars and other nutrients that bees need to survive. However, using honey to attract bees is not recommended as it can also attract other insects and animals, such as wasps, ants, and bears.Moreover, it’s essential to avoid using honey to attract bees in areas where there are known bee allergies or beekeeping operations. This can lead to unwanted bee activity and potential conflict with beekeepers or others who may be affected by bee activity.If you want to attract bees to your garden, it’s better to plant flowers and plants that produce nectar and pollen, such as lavender, sunflowers, and wildflowers. This will provide a natural food source for bees while also beautifying your garden.

When you Should Attract Honey Bees (and when you shouldn’t)

Attracting bees to a specific area can be beneficial or detrimental, depending on the circumstances. Here are some situations when you may want to attract bees to an area and when you should avoid it:

When to attract bees:

  1. In a garden or agricultural setting – Bees are essential for pollinating plants, and attracting them to your garden can improve plant yields and promote biodiversity.
  2. To establish a beehive – If you’re a beekeeper, attracting bees to a particular area can be useful for establishing a new hive or colony.
  3. To promote ecological balance – Bees are an essential part of the ecosystem, and attracting them to an area can help promote ecological balance and biodiversity.

When not to attract bees:

  1. In areas with bee allergies – Attracting bees to areas where people with bee allergies frequent can be dangerous and may cause severe allergic reactions.
  2. In public areas – Attracting bees to public areas like parks, playgrounds, and sports fields can lead to unwanted bee activity and potential injuries to people.
  3. In areas with beekeeping operations – Attracting bees to areas with established beekeeping operations can lead to conflicts with beekeepers and may cause damage to their hives.

Overall, attracting bees to an area should be done with caution, and it’s important to consider the potential risks and benefits before doing so.

If you’re unsure about whether to attract bees to an area, it’s always best to consult with a beekeeping expert or a local extension office for advice.


What Are The Benefits Of Using Honey To Attract Bees?

Using honey to attract bees has some big advantages. Chief amongst them is that it is incredibly effective. Bees are hard-wired to seek out sweet nectar, and raw, unprocessed honey is the perfect source.

They will flock to it, like moths to a flame.Another great benefit of using honey to attract bees is that it is generally much more affordable than the alternative strategies.

All you need to do is set out a nice shallow dish of honey and the bees will just come to it. You don’t need to buy fancy feeders or expensive traps.

And if you produce your own honey, you will likely have an abundant supply of this sweet nectar for the taking.

Finally, the use of honey is a great way to introduce bees to a new environment.

They will be familiar with this sweet substance, making them more likely to stay and take up residence in your gardens, rather than simply buzzing off in search of more familiar pastures.

What Are The Risks Of Using Honey To Attract Bees?

Using honey to attract bees definitely has some risks that need to be taken into consideration.

Firstly, while bees will flock to it, they may also be attracted to other areas containing other types of sugary substances, such as soft drinks, flower nectar and fruit.

If these substances are left open or set out in large quantities, they can attract bees away from your honeys and the area you’ve created for them.

Another risk of using honey is that it can actually attract predators, such as wasps and ants.

So it’s important to keep an eye on your honey dish, and make sure that any potential predators don’t get in and harass the bees.

Finally, honey itself can contain bacteria, mold and other microorganisms that can be harmful to bees. So make sure the dish is kept clean and inspect it regularly.

What Are The Alternatives To Using Honey To Attract Bees?

If you don’t want to use honey to attract bees, there are other strategies that you can use.

Alternatively, you can make or buy bee attractants, such as bee bait and bee juice. These are liquids that are specifically formulated to entice and attract bees, but without the sticky mess of honey.

You can also set up feeders that provide sugar water or pollen substitute, which the bees will find attractive.

You can also grow specific types of plants and flowers, such as borage, cosmos and sweet clover, to naturally attract the bees to your yard.

Finally, another great way to attract bees is to provide a source of shelter and water.

Bees are much more likely to stay in an area if they have a safe place to make their home, as well as a freshwater source, as they need both in order to survive.


Using honey to attract bees certainly has its benefits, but it’s important to take into account both the pros and the cons, so you can make the best decision for your beekeeping.

There are also alternative strategies that you can use, including bee attractants, specific plants and flowers, and the provision of shelter and water.

Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of the advantages and drawbacks of using honey to attract bees, and you now have the information you need to make an informed decision on the best approach for your beekeeping. Good luck!






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