Do Honeybees Like Russian Sage?

do bees like russian sage

Russian sage may not be genuinely Russian or a sage, but this plant holds its own when it comes to being a drought-tolerant and trustworthy shrub, which is helpful in a variety of sun-filled landscape designs. 

In 1995, it received the Perennial Plant of the Year award, and rightfully so! 

Are you thinking of planting Russian sage in your garden and do honeybees like Russian sage?

Garden bumblebees love Russian sage’s purple spiked flowers. If you keep Russian sage shaded, you will have fresh sage with bees buzzing around it all year round!

If you have ever grown a Russian sage plant, you will agree that it possesses several lovable merits. If you are new to this fantastic plant, continue reading with us as we discuss everything you need to know about Russian sage and our stinger friends!

Does Russian Sage Attract Bees?

Russian sage is a very commonly used perennial herb plant, and it can be used for lots of things. Russian sage only takes about 14 to 21 days to sprout, and due to its growing requirements, it is often used as a companion with many other plants. 

Russian sage is a significant nectar source for bees. Bees are very attracted to Russian sage’s purple flowers, and by caring for it correctly, you will have bees hovering above your plant all year round. Mix this plant with other flowering species to provide an additional pollen source.

Russian sage also attracts butterflies along with bees, which means you will have the perfect picture in your garden. 

Everything about Russian sage attracts bees, and this makes it the ideal plant if you need some pollinator activity in or around your garden. 

Russian sage is not only a low-maintenance plant but rabbits or deers do not eat it and are very drought tolerant. 

At the same time, it is popular with all sorts of pollinators, including hoverflies, along with butterflies and bees, as we mentioned above.

Why Bees Find Russian Sage So Attractive

russian sage is a good nectar source for bees

Russian sage is the perfect plant if you live in a sunny or hot climate because it attracts our most beneficial pollinators, known as bees. 

However, Russian sage offers nothing to browning bug pests, and even javeline finds this plant to be distasteful. 

What bugs find unattractive, bees find attractive. Bees are so attracted to this plant because of Russian sage’s unique combination of a bracing herbal aroma, along with a fuzzy and harsh foilage. 

Any gardener will like and appreciate the waving blue foliage, the Russian Sage’s foliage, all from early summer until fall. 

Russian sage needs no deadheading, and once they are established, they also require no additional irrigation.

Bees use their highly developed sense of smell to find flowers, even if the flowers are far away. They choose plants with a sweet scent while being rich with the nectar they desperately need. They only see the color of plants when they get closer to them. 

Bees are attracted to yellow, white, blue, purple, and violet flowers, with violet being their top choice of flowers. 

This is just the case when it comes to the Russian sage plant, which has a beautiful violet or purple color, while their smell also helps them to attract bees.

Some flowers have nectar guides, which are only visible in ultraviolet light. Because bees can clearly see ultraviolet light, these nectar guides act as markers of a sure source of food, and the bees will choose these flowers over a whole field of others, and Russian sage is one of them.

When you notice a bee on your Russian sage plant, it may not only be because the bee is actively trying to pollinate the plant. 

It may just be a happy accident. What is actually happening is that the bee, along with its colony, might be hungry. 

Bees use pollen and nectar as food. While nectar provides them with carbohydrates, pollen is their primary source of fat and protein.

Russian sage is high in both nectar and pollen, and honeybees will stuff the pollen into baskets located in their legs and use their tongues to suck up as much nectar as they can. 

Back at their hive, they will use the pollen and nectar they have collected and put it into cells where it will be processed into honey and a material called “bee bread,” which they use to feed to their young.

Group Russian Sage With Other Bee Attracting Plants

When you decide to plant a garden full of your native flowers, you will help both honeybees and native pollinators with their jobs. The more forage that you make available, the less these species have to compete with each other. 

Bees ultimately need nectar, which is the high sugar content that provides them with energy to go about their tasks. 

They also need pollen, which is the source of their fat and protein, and freshwater, which you can provide in a shallow dish with pebbles, such as a shallow pond, birdbath, or household container. 

It would be much more beneficial to plant a wide variety of flowers in large groups of similar flowers. If it is possible, you can grow one or two Russian sage plants here and there as you please. 

You can combine Russian sage with pollen sources such as coneflower, making for a more bee-healthy and attractive combination. 

Russian sage also combines excellently with other low water plants such as sedum, lavender, as well as ornamental grasses. You can also pair it with bold leafed succulents, like large aloes and agaves.


Russian sage is a great herb to plant in any vegetable garden due to its pest repelling properties and natural means of attracting essential pollinators to your garden. 

If you play your cards right, you could have beautiful bumblebees all around your sage plant all year long, and if you group Russian sage, your chances are even better at attracting bees!

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