Monday, September 17, 2012

Hummingbirds vs Bumblebees

Photographer MURRAY HEAD sent me the photos below this morning, accompanied by his informative note:

Hi Marie,

I thought Jewelweed could have been named for Hummers that flit about in the  bushes...sipping the nectar. Looking-up the origin I found:

"Jewelweed refers to the silvery appearance the leaves take on under water, and the jewel-like appearance of water droplets on the leaf surface."

Then I found:

"The name Jewelweed herb is mainly derived from the colorful flowers that hang from the plant. There are many medicinal uses of the Jewelweed and it is found to be most effective in the treatment of insect bites and sever itching due to various skin allergies."

So there are varying opinions because... nobody really knows. Well I say... "Jewelweed is so named because the Hummingbirds make it so."


I also found on the Smithsonian site:

"A study found that even though bumblebees also visit jewelweed, hummingbirds do a far better job at pollinating it. This is because when a hummingbird visits the flower, it causes the flower to wobble and this wobbling rubs lots of pollen on the bird’s face. When the bee visits jewelweed, its movements are more delicate. The flower stays still and the bee leaves with less pollen to take to the next flower."

Score one more for the Hummingbirds.



                  Photos taken on The Lake on 9/17/12 by MURRAY HEAD