Are bees attracted to yellow? And other wacky garden questions answered...

Do sunflowers follow the sun, and do dock leaves help nettle stings? Find out the answers...

Attract beneficial insects such as bees into the garden
(Image credit: Melanie Griffiths)

Have you ever wondered if sunflowers really do follow the sun? Or whether the old saying about 'red sky at night' bringing good weather is actually true? Now that our gardens are in full bloom once again, and real summer weather is just round the corner (hopefully), we can confirm – and debunk – some of the most common garden-related myths*. 

Are bees attracted to yellow?

Bees actually have poor eyesight and are more attracted to smells. If anything, they seem to see purple better. So, don't worry about wearing yellow clothing, but do avoid wearing strong floral perfumes in the summer to avoid confusing the bees (and potentially getting stung). Find out how to create a bee-friendly garden in our guide.

Do dock leaves help nettle stings?

Yes, but only in so far as their sap has a soothing and cooling sensation. They do not, contrary to popular belief, 'neutralise' the sting, as they're actually quite acidic. 

Do sunflowers follow the sun?

Yes, but only young ones. Mature sunflowers tend to face east to maximise on early morning sunlight. Hormones in a sunflower make cells grow faster in the shaded part of the plant, causing this region to become heavier and the flower to bend in the opposite direction – towards the sun. 

Does a red sky at night mean good weather tomorrow? 

Yes! The traditional British saying 'Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight; red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning' does have a basis in scientific fact. In the UK, weather systems usually come from the west. A red sky at night typically means high pressure is heading over Britain from the gulf stream, so the following day will be dry and pleasant. But a red sky in the morning means the good weather has already headed east and will probably be replaced by low pressure, wind and rain.

Why do flies come inside? 

The truth is, a fly almost always gets into your house by mistake, and a circling fly is usually just disoriented and can't find its way back out. There are reasons it might want to stay, though: namely, if it's hanging around, it's probably after your food (or your pet's).

*Thanks to the arden experts at Garden Buildings Direct.

Anna is a professional writer with many years of experience. She has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening. She covers a range of topics, from practical advice to interior and garden design.