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Posts Tagged ‘honeybee’

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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For a change of pace I decided today to visit Green Spring Gardens, a historical county-run garden that always has lots of beautiful flowers. Some purple poppies were among my favorites. Several of them were in bloom, surrounded by a large number of seed pods. A honey bee and I were attracted to the same flower at the same time—the bee ignored me and busily went about its work.

Purple Poppy

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Flowers and bees have a mutualistic relationship—the flower provides the nectar and the bee assists in pollination. Sometimes, though, bees will circumvent the process by drilling a hole in the side of the flower and gaining access to the nectar without touching the reproductive parts of the flower, a process sometimes called “nectar robbing.”

Last weekend, I encountered this bee, which looks to be a honeybee, repeatedly taking nectar from the side of a Salvia flower. In an earlier posting, I showed that it was a tight fit for a bumblebee to enter the flower from the front, but it nonetheless did its part in pollination. The honeybee apparently decided it was easier to take a shortcut and go directly to the nectar.

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© 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.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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