Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Snowberry Clearwing Moth - Harmless, Yeah Right.

What was that thing that just buzzed my head...a small plane....a giant bee...some kind of hummingbird...it just scared the crap out of me. I know look it up on the net...I had a mission...find out what that thing was. And could it sting me, or bite me? Should I start packing up the wife and dogs and head out...time to sell before they take over.So I started to try and find out about that giant bee like creature..or was it even a bee. I searched until I found a message board that told the same story...outside in yard when a giant bee buzzed their head too...but it's not a bee..it's a moth...a giant moth at least. A Snowberry Clearwing, or Hummingbird Moth, part of the Sphinx Moth family. And no friend of mine.
They begin their life as another foe of mine and many other gardeners...the tomato hornworm. Not only did I find out about that giant bee like creature flying over my head, but found out where those damn hornworms come from...my tomato's and me both hate them. For years I have tried alot of stuff to keep those pests from eating my plants. I now know the rest of the story...
You'll find cut holes in your leaves and if you stare hard enough..the hornworm himself...eating and ruining your hard earn work. You spend hours planting and watering tomato plants only to find blossoms eaten and stems limp and fallen over. Damn those hornworms, they have struck again. And now I know their story...

Snowberry Clearwing Moths resemble a bumblebee more than a hummingbird, but are often mistaken for a hummingbird. They hover while feeding, but will land more often than hummingbirds will. You'll notice that they have antennae, birds don't...but at 30 mph..who can see those things out of their heads. They also have a long straw like tongue, but there again, who can see it at buzz speed. I saw a 2-3 bee like creature coming at me...I didn't have time to check for parts.

They don't sting or bite, but who knew that. Once you realize you aren't going to be stung, they become unique creatures of nature. Coming out in March and staying until September, I have months to watch as they lay eggs and eat my tomato's..lovely. But wait, they are to also do good...they help pollinate plants and flowers by carrying pollen on their fuzzy bodies. Seems when they eat...they buzz the pollen onto their bodies and carrry it from plant to plant...so they help my garden as they eat my garden...great.

So what appears to be a bee is a moth. And unlike most moths, flies around during the day. Well, buzzes around I should say. Zipping back and forth, like a hummingbird, eating nectar from plants and scaring the crap out of people. When you hear a loud buzz in your ear...bee comes to mind first...not a moth.

So now I know...what it is and how not to run like a wildman around my yard...yeah right..next time I will still run like a crazyman...buzzing still equals bee...at least in my mind.

They still look evil, even as moths...black bodies, yellow stripes...looks more like a bee, but flies like a hummingbird...mother nature playing games with me...but now I know..and hopefully I will do some good by telling this story...Pawpaw's Wisdom for today...if you hear a buzzing sound in your ear..run like heck...it's a bee...ain't no moth sound like that...see...even Pawpaw will take a while to learn from his own wisdom...stop, look and learn about whatever you see in life. Stop rushing around, slow down and enjoy life, we only get one. Look around you and appreciate what you have and who you have, life is very enjoyable if you see what you really have. And learn from what God has given us, let his lessons of life be in our life. With God in your heart and a little wisdom, we can accomplish his lessons he has laid out for us.


  1. Yuck! I need to add this to my post as another reason I don't like all the blooming that Spring brings...all the BUGS that come along with it :)

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