View Full Version : crepe myrtle

07-30-2008, 06:00 PM
Do honey bees work crepe myrtle? I am new to this and have several trees in bloom. I see bumble bees and other bees working it but not my honey bees. If they do work it is it a good nectar/ pollen resource. They are very easy to grow around here.

07-30-2008, 08:49 PM
I've not seen honeybees on my crepe myrtle here.

07-30-2008, 09:05 PM
They are in full bloom here and no bees working them.

Tom G. Laury
07-30-2008, 09:44 PM
Here where I live there are a LOT of crepe myrtles in town. The bees are all over them and suburban beekeepers report surplus during July. Supposed to be water white.

07-30-2008, 10:44 PM
Interesting that they go after it in CA, but not FL. I am in Orlando, and Crepe Myrtle is everywhere. I've never seen a honey bee on them and very rarely have I seen anything else either.

I have however seen honey bees on them in Williamsburg, VA.

07-31-2008, 07:29 AM
When the White ones were in bloom ( Central AL) they were covered with bees. When the red ones bloomed I didn't see any bees on them.

07-31-2008, 08:04 AM
I also see more on the white than the red/pink/purple. Maybe the whites are less hybridized? :confused:


07-31-2008, 11:10 AM
The white variety is the only one I have seen bees working, but they did appear to be *really* working it.

07-31-2008, 12:01 PM
in athens ga. full bloom but no bees, all i have is white and thay don't care for them, on a side note thay don't like my sunflowers either what gives?

07-31-2008, 02:53 PM
It would be nice if they would hit it here. They are so easy to grow.

cow pollinater
07-31-2008, 05:55 PM
I have a few red ones around. The bees will work them but it seems like a last resort deal. I can almost tell when it's time to irrigate the pasture just by watching the myrtle. When the clover dries out, I see bees on the myrtle.

07-31-2008, 07:54 PM
I see more bumble bees than honeybees on our crepes. However, the honeybees love the butterfly bushes and they are really easy to grow. They work the white and purple or lavender bushes best.

08-01-2008, 07:18 AM
I read somewhere that these plants are usually hybridized and that there are three or four different kinds. Some of the hybrids don't produce nectar, while some of the unhybridized or less hybridized ones do. The white ones, on average, probably have less breeding. However, I also remember reading that color alone does not control, and that offspring from a plant with colored flowers can be white.

Assuming that's all true, I think the answer is that some crepe myrtles are good for bees and some aren't. I suppose is could also be affected by climate.

I have some in my yard that bees don't work, but there are some in the neighborhood that they do work.


08-01-2008, 08:48 PM
I have pink one in my yard and see honeybees on them in the mornings. We have a lot of white ones at our church and they are covered with honeybees. I agree they seem to like the white best. Not sure but they appear to be collecting mostly pollen.

08-03-2008, 07:03 AM
I have white ones here and I do see the bees working them. More of butterflies and such but I do see the honeybees on them from time to time.


08-03-2008, 03:50 PM
I have seen them on white and pink...if they are a necter source it is good news here because they bloom all summer long and there are thousands of them within two miles.:)

08-03-2008, 06:40 PM
I saw them this morning working the pink at church but wont touch the red white or pink in my yard. The church is right at 2 miles from the house so maybe my bees but that is more wishful thinking.

08-31-2008, 04:05 PM
Update....Wed I spied bees on a dark red one gathering pollen!!

Southern Bee
09-12-2008, 03:58 PM
Seems to me like its a matter of preference. If there is something else blooming that they like more, then the Crepe Myrtles are bypassed. If there is not a better source, then the myrtles get their attention. The city where I live has crepe myrtles on every street, mostly pink, and I have not seen much bee activity on them. Then again I haven't been looking all that closely either.
I have lavender planted in my yard, which is listed as a big bee plant, and it is, my bees love it. But it depends on the time of the year and what else is blooming. My lavender is in flower all spring & summer, but in the spring when so much else is blooming you wont see a honey bee any where near it. When the nectar flow dries up they are all over it. For that matter the Tulip Poplar across the street was almost bee free this spring also, I dont know what they were working but it wasn't that.

Tom Davidson
06-25-2012, 01:53 PM
They definitely like the crepe myrtles here in Charlote. :)


Ted adams
06-25-2012, 02:44 PM
in athens ga. full bloom but no bees, all i have is white and thay don't care for them, on a side note thay don't like my sunflowers either what gives?
HELLO Athens I'm just outside Athens, I have drapes and sunflower also have not seen a bee on sunflowers yet, drapes just starting to bloom.

06-26-2012, 06:15 PM
Drought early bloom/nectar flow and bees are only working those that are in watered properties and then only until about mid morning. I see them buzz around the flowers a little after but I think the nectar is either dried up or minimal amount of nectar available from drought. I posted a few years back that I never see the bees on them and since then they have repeatedly made me eat my words. Makes some awful thin soup (tic).

06-26-2012, 08:06 PM
When the White ones were in bloom ( Central AL) they were covered with bees. When the red ones bloomed I didn't see any bees on them.

On the main, with some minor exceptions, this is my experience here in Texas too; Mornings rather than mid day or evenings, and when there is nothing they prefer in bloom (read: When they are desperate for nectar).

ADDED: I looked again this morning....They are off any dark red trees and only on the pink, lavender and white colors.....And for just pollen, not working the blooms this morning. :)

06-26-2012, 11:18 PM
I live in MYRTLE beach, and can say I have never seen bees working the myrtles in my yard. Maybe there is something else blooming that they like better.

06-30-2012, 04:45 PM
I agree that it depends on what else in available. Last year, during the severe drought, the bees were all over my crape myrtles. This year, we've had a tremendous wildflower season, and I see maybe 5 or 6 bees on my Crapes. Same with my lavender. The bees used to be all over it, but I have hardly any bees foraging in my yard this year, even on the sunflowers. Why should they?!! There were countless fields of wildflowers in bloom.

06-30-2012, 10:55 PM
Funny when I was down in Houston the bees were all over the white ones. I come back home to the DFW area the girls wont touch em

07-01-2012, 08:20 AM
Same thing down here in south Alabama, Tom... ;)
http://i111.photobucket.com/albums/n153/intheswamp00/Honey%20Bees/th_HbeesCrapeMyrtle_20110730_1938Small.jpg (http://s111.photobucket.com/albums/n153/intheswamp00/Honey%20Bees/?action=view&current=HbeesCrapeMyrtle_20110730_1938Small.jpg)

Nature Coast beek
07-02-2012, 01:12 PM
Saw one bee working a pink crepe myrtle this morning, but just across the parking lot were about 15 magnolias in bloom...loaded with honeybees rolling in the blossoms.

07-02-2012, 02:01 PM
There are always loads of bees at Lowe's in the garden area (about 12 miles from here). I was positive I would have bees everywhere I looked in my garden once I got my hives last April. I have never had so few bees in my garden, ever! So, I'm pretty sure it does depend on what's available. They aren't interested in anything I planted specifically for them.

07-02-2012, 10:38 PM
Isn't it amazing how bees work. I have crepe myrtle around my house in NW Mississippi both pink and white. I have seen bees on it before but not in great numbers but none this year. My hives at home are surrounded by privet hedge never do I see a bee on it. I have a beeyard surrounded by golden rod, almost 70 acres, and in the 6 years I have been keeping bees last Fall was the first time I saw them work it. Bee behavior truly amazes me.

07-03-2012, 12:38 PM
Davebcrzy, what are your bees working, can you tell?

07-03-2012, 01:50 PM
julysun, they are working a weed that I call ironweed and sunflowers. If we don't get some rain soon, about all they will get is pollen because there will be no nector.

07-12-2012, 08:14 PM
They were working the pink ones in my mother's yard here in KY yesterday morning. Has anyone seen them working Mimosa trees?

07-12-2012, 10:00 PM
It is the Aphids! http://ipm.ifas.ufl.edu/resources/extension_resources/newsletter/v1n1_myrtle.shtml :lookout:

07-13-2012, 05:31 AM
Very intresting article. Thanks for the link! Fascinating how nature works. My crepe myrtle is starting to bloom now and I'll be looking for those beneficial crapemyrtle aphid, Tinocallis kahawaluokalani (Kirkaldy). Thanks again!

Nature Coast beek
07-15-2012, 10:56 AM
Bees working my white Natchez crepe myrtle...:applause:


Colleen O.
07-15-2012, 01:55 PM
They are working my red and pink crepe myrtles for pollen here in Saint Louis MO.

07-15-2012, 06:16 PM
There are so many Crepe Myrtles in this town They should support my bees all summer! :applause:

07-15-2012, 09:12 PM
My bees have been all over my Crepe Myrtles! It looks like it is time to plant a few more!!!