Hummingbird Moth

Our red Bee Balm flowers have gone I read that we should cut them in half so that they stay a nice size.  Well, too late for that, they are 4 to 5 feet tall and are the very favorite flower of a whole bunch of big yellow and black bumblebees. I don't know if bumblebees collect necter from them and create honey like the little honey bees do. I would suppose so, but I'll have to check my favorite "go to" place, the internet.

Yesterday I watched several hummingbird moths sampling the Bee Balm flowers.  At first I thought they were  baby hummingbirds.....although I have never seen hummingbirds in our area.  They hovered over the flowers just like hummingbirds, thus, I suppose, the name, Hummingbird moth or hawkmoth. They are about the size of my thumb and their little wings beat frantically.   I looked them up on the internet and found that there are several species....since this little guy never was still and I didn't have a camera (photo here was from the internet) I don't know what species they were.  I had never seen one before, and between watching the bumble bees and the moth, I spend a good half hour in the garden.

Later I found that they emerge from eggs laid by green caterpillers, probably on the honeysuckle vine which was planted last year.  New vine, new visitors to the garden.