I’m sure I’ve heard of this before but just watching the bumble bees on the jasmine I noticed they were disappearing around the back of the flower. Looking very closely the base of the flower trumpet there is a small perforation which the bees have presumably made to access the nectar, the trumpet being to long for their tongues.
I havent had much success photographing them yet as they are a bit quick but I’ll keep trying as I’d like to know what species is / are doing this
Any comments welcome
PS My bumble bee wall at the allotment is proving very popular, see pic
What you have seen is a bit of “daylight robbery” by short-tongued bumbles, such as B. terrestris. I haven’t seen them robbing jasmine [because I haven’t got any!] but they certainly go for other tubular flowers such as comfrey, wisteria, aquilegia, runner beans….....This is a sneaky way to gain access to the nectar but it also means that they by-pass the pollination process of that particular flower. Of course, if there is a hole readily available, then other bumbles become opportunists too! Luckily there always seems to be enough long-tongued bumbles around to do a proper job.