Pollinators visit flowers for rewards and should therefore have a preference for floral signals that indicate reward status, so called 'honest signals'. We investigated honest signalling in Brassica rapa L. and its relevance for the attraction of a generalised pollinator, the bumble bee Bombus terrestris (L.). We found a positive association between reward amount (nectar sugar and pollen) and the floral scent compound phenylacetaldehyde. Bumble bees developed a preference for phenylacetaldehyde over other scent compounds after foraging on B. rapa. When foraging on artificial flowers scented with synthetic volatiles, bumble bees developed a preference for those specific compounds that honestly indicated reward status. These results show that the honesty of floral signals can play a key role in their attractiveness to pollinators. In plants, a genetic constraint, resource limitation in reward and signal production, and sanctions against cheaters may contribute to the evolution and maintenance of honest signalling.