I do not think we have bumble bees in the Dominican Republic; at least I have never seen them. Instead, we have carpenter bees, which look similar to bumble bees, but are shiny and much less hairy. For the most part, carpenter bees seem undesirable, since I have seen wooden furniture break from being structurally weakened by their tunnelling. However, I read in the Wikipedia article:
"Carpenter bees have short mouthparts and are important pollinators on some open-faced or shallow flowers; for some they even are obligate pollinators, for example the maypop (Passiflora incarnata) and Orphium, which are not pollinated by any other insects. They also are important pollinators of flowers with various forms of lids, such as Salvia species and some members of the Fabaceae."
I was wondering if any of you folk have observed carpenter bees acting as pollinators around your places? What do they pollinate for you that you do not see other pollinators working?
Carpenter bees DO pollinate. Exactly what they pollinate will depend on what is in bloom in your area at any given time. Bees in general go for their favorites & work their way down their available options in order of preference.
Argue for your limitations and they are yours forever.
I see carpenter bees working a variety of flowers in my gardens but don't know the extent to which they are pollinating them vs. other bees and insects. However, with the collapse of honeybees in many places, including my area, they are likely to be providing an important service.
I also have cases of large bees that will "rob" flowers of nectar by piercing the base of flowers to get to nectar, but am not 100% clear on the identity of the true culprits.
It's just a flesh wound! Or a tiny ad:
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