Today, as I watched a beautiful carpenter bee work its way around the flowers of Phlox 'Jeane', I wondered if the nectar of that flower could be depleted and what effect that might have on pollination and other visitors?
|I wondered what affect this would have on pollination|
So I did a little research.
It was always assumed that nectar robbers had a negative impact on the plants that they visited, but that is not necessarily true. The authors of a paper published in the Ecological Society of America Oct 2000 examined the last 50+ years of research on this subject and concluded that nectar robbing could have a beneficial or neutral effect. Here's what they said, "The effects of nectar robbers are complex and depend, in part, on the identity of the robber, the identity of the legitimate pollinator, how much nectar the robbers remove, and the variety of floral resources available in the environment." If you want to read more follow my highlighted link above.
|Carpenter bee zeroing in on the nectar machine P paniculata 'Jeana'|
I have no idea what effect nectar robbing will actually have on P paniculata 'Jeana'. She is after all a nectar machine! Last summer she was covered with Swallowtail butterflies, skippers, hummingbird moths and bees for almost 6 weeks.
I am hoping that a little nectar robbing now doesn't rob me of the pleasure of watching all her pollinator visitors the rest of this summer!
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.