At art festivals, I’m often asked if I ever get stung or how many times I’ve been stung. I’m assuming they mean by bees rather than hornets and don’t want to hear about how I tried to burn out a hornet’s nest at midday. Nobody wants to hear about that. It ain’t that pretty at all.
But since I’ve been taking pictures of bees, I think I’ve only been stung three times. And only once with the camera in hand. And that was when I was on my hands and knees on the lawn trying to shoot a little one (not today’s pic) on some clover – and I inadvertently squashed another with my hand – and she reacted in the only way she knew how. The other two almost don’t count in that they happened when I was trying to catch a swarm (in the wrong sort of protective gear) and a couple flew up my jacket and couldn’t get out. They were very patient before they finally gave in to frustration or panic.
Anyway, nearly every day in the summer I get my face and camera right up on them – lots of different species. Sometimes only a couple of inches away. They’ve got no interest in stinging. They’re pretty patient. Sometimes I even think they like to pose ;). Even the wasps aren’t very interested in that. The hornets, on the other hand, might be a different story. But in my experience, there’s no reason at all to fear the bees. They’ve got much better things to do than to mess with you.
Oh, I probably should say something about this shot. It’s not a great one. But I like it for the grass in the fore and back. Lots going on in the camera’s world. But business as usual in hers.
I have so many neat pics on this flower and have posted quite a few here. But it just keeps giving. Pollen all over her face. Great wings. And you can really see the softness of the flower. Next year will be worse with the blanket flowers in the new parking strip garden. A number of new ones in there. But the bees will be happy…and if they are, that’s something.
Rare for me to get focus on two bees in a single pic. But this is a nice one of two brown-belted bumbles in the culinary thyme. It’s really hearty stuff and likes to wander around the garden. Seems to pop up in unanticipated places now and then. But it’s one that blooms for most of the season – and attracts pollinators of all kinds – especially in the late afternoon, from my observation. Can look a little ragged sometimes, but the bees love it.
The geranium looks, certainly, past its prime – fading and curling and all. But…it still has what the bee wants and needs. It’s usually pretty hard to get a good shot on a geranium because of where the bee needs to go on the blossom to find the nectar. But the way this one is set up – the angle – it worked out okay. I like the magenta (??? I’m really no good with colors) and the green together. And, of course, the little one in there. That blossom is about the size of a U.S. quarter dollar coin (~25cm or so). Tiny!
This one’s a little dark on the bee, but I really like the in-flight shots. Like how the wing’s caught by the camera. And the bee right there on the blossom itself. You can see some detail in the far wing, but it’s also obviously working. Not perfect, but a fun shot for sure.
Also called Eremurus ‘Cleopatra’. Super-neat plant. Super-neat color. And really does attract pollinators of every kind. You really don’t get to see the shape of it because the bee is so small. And by so small…think of a grain of rice and cut that in half in your mind. So very, very tiny. Love the little ones. Very pleased with this shot.