September 13, 2009
Our garden is full of Impatiens Balfourii, a Himalayan plant with beautiful flowers that attract a lot of insects and a few hummingbirds. This plant is also called ‘Touch Me Not’ because the seed heads explode from the slightest touch. They seem to be a favourite of smaller bumblebees who disappear into the flower with only a tiny bit of their behind sticking out.
Recently I spent an afternoon watching bigger bumblebees stealing nectar by going behind the flower and cutting into the base. They received their reward with no pollination benefit to the flower. I had heard of this, but watching it over a sunny afternoon was quite interesting.