Posts Tagged ‘Apis’

I love to watch bees as they gather pollen—they seem so industrious and focused as they systematically work their way through a group of flowers. This honey bee had both of its pollen sacs almost completely filled when I spotted it yesterday on a cone flower in the garden of one of my neighbors, fellow photographer Cindy Dyer.

One of the joys of shooting with a macro lens is that it lets you capture so many fine details, like the pollen grains on the legs of this bee and the slight damage on the trailing edges of the bee’s wings. Bees are also a great subject to practice macro techniques, because they often let you get really close without being spooked and flying away.

honey bee

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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While visiting a garden during an event advertised as “A Million Blooms” I looked hard, but didn’t find any bees among the many tulips and other spring flowers. It was a bit ironic that I discovered this honey bee on a bush while waiting for my fellow photographers outside the gift shop of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Virginia after seeing lots and lots of flowers.

I was hand-holding my 180mm macro lens for these shots, so I couldn’t close down the lens too far. In some of the shots, therefore, you can see that the depth of field was pretty narrow. Still, I am happy that I was able to capture some of the beautiful details of this honey bee, one of the first bees that I have observed this spring.


© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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As we move through spring, I am finally starting to see more hover flies and bees, busily at work collecting food and pollinating the flowers.

The insect in the first photo is, I believe, an American Hover Fly (Eupeodes americanus). A year ago, I would almost certainly have called it a bee, but I have learned a lot about insects since then, thanks to my photography.

The second photo feature a beautiful variegated flower and what looks to be a honey bee, though it’s a little difficult to make a positive identification, because of the angle.

It’s early in the season, so I am having to recall some lessons from last year, like the need to pay attention to my distance. In my desire to get closer, I have already managed a few times to bump the flower and scare off the bee, forgetting that the lens hood on my macro lens is pretty big.


Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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