Many pollinating animals visit a variety of flowering plant species. Rare plant species pollinated by such generalists may experience a low quality or quantity of pollination, depending on the pollinators' foraging behaviour. How plants cope with this rarity disadvantage is not well understood. One possibility would be to offer a higher floral reward, for example a higher nectar sugar concentration. However, since nectar production is costly, rare plants may only be able to increase their nectar concentration for a limited time and offer little reward afterwards. In this study we performed a laboratory experiment with bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) foraging on artificial flowers of two colours to investigate whether the bees' foraging behaviour produces a rarity disadvantage and if so, whether the rare flower type could improve its pollination success through temporal variation of its nectar sugar concentration, i.e. a temporary increase of nectar sugar followed by a period with low concentration. We found that when both flower colours offered equal rewards, the rare colour received only slightly fewer visits per flower, but had a considerably lower expected pollination success based on the bumblebees' visitation sequences. Temporal variation of the rare colour's sugar concentration increased both the quantity and quality of visits it received. This positive effect was reduced when there were fewer rare flowers or when two bumblebees foraged simultaneously. Our results suggest that temporal variation of floral rewards can alleviate, but not completely eliminate the rarity disadvantage.