Friday, September 3, 2010
Do bees chase butterflies?
Question: I have lots of container plants to attract butterflies and bees, both larval-host and nectar plants. Blue hyssop especially seems to draw a great variety and number of bees and now I don't see as many butterflies around. I wonder whether the bees are scaring off butterflies. Yesterday I observed what seemed to be a bee chasing a butterfly away from a flower blossom. Have you ever heard of this?
From Martha M.
My answer: Hi Martha. I know I have seen bumblebees and other insects that come to my flowers chasing off hummingbirds, but I have never seen it with bees and butterflies. Even with hummingbirds, I think it is more the hummingbirds flying away than the wasps actually chasing.
I do know that certain WASPS actually eat caterpillars. I was really surprised the first time that I saw it, but I know that a lot more of my caterpillars are just disappearing and I think it is the wasps.
I told Martha that I would post the question in hopes of finding someone with a little more knowledge on the subject. Soooooo, has anyone else ever noticed butterflies and bees competing for the same plants? If so, can bees actually hurt butterflies? I'd sure love to know the answer myself.