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Short cut to jasmine nectar

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Total Posts: 5

Joined 2013-07-27

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Hi

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

Thanks

David

PS My bumble bee wall at the allotment is proving very popular, see pic

 

     
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Total Posts: 106

Joined 2013-01-10

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Hi David,
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.
urbanbumble