Meet Tecoma , a.k.a. Orange jubilee (O.J.).
Here’s the situation…O.J. needs to be pollinated, with the help of bees. The relationship O.J. is used to is this…
The bee crawls inside the flower to get the nectar reward and pollinates the flower at the same time.
But…there are other bee’s that cheat. Yes, cheat. I’m sorry to have to expose such devious bee behavior. Some bees, like this carpenter bee, somehow know where the nectar of the flower is. The bee knows she cannot fit inside the flower to reach the sweet sweet nectar reward. So, instead, she goes around and avoids the whole “I am going pollinate this flower and in exchange I will get a nectar reward.” The bee breaks the mutualistic relationship between her and O.J.
How you ask? I followed this Carpenter bee, watched her every move…and took pictures of such dishonesty. I captured her cheating in PUBLIC!
This is how it went down…O.J. is out there waiting to be visited by this Carpenter bee. Instead, the bee blows her off, crawls to the base of the flower on the outside, bites a slit into the base of the flower.
The bee is then able to drink the nectar without pollinating O.J. When this happens we say the carpenter bee is the primary nectar robber. Just look at the bee in action…
The dishonesty doesn’t stop there people. Once there is a slit on the flower, other bees, like honeybees, which can fit inside the flower, begin to use the slit. This is called secondary nectar robbing. The mouth parts of honeybees are not strong enough to do this, but when they know there is a slit already there, they go for the slit. Poor poor O.J. So robbed is she.
People do not know how these bees learn such a behavior…I have always wanted to know. So devious yet so smart.