Bonus AND Digression – Product of Pollination

So it’s clear that there’s no bee in this pic. BUT…this is the first bloom of a bee-created iris – so it’s their handiwork. I think it’s every bit as nice as its parents, and it has a great scent. It’s an early shorty (the tall beardeds just started opening up a day or so ago here) I’m thrilled with how it turned out. It’s a keeper.

Outcome and evidence of pollinators pollinating! And for that reason, I think it deserves a spot on the site. I think there are three others loaded up and ready to open – one of which should go today. I’ll post a pic of it when it does. Think it’s a sibling to this one.

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Three Months in the Bag

Today marks the end of the third full month of this experiment/nonsense. Strangest three months of my life, truly – jumped in to a career change going after art full-time – huge up-front investment – a summer full of some pretty fine art shows/fairs on the docket – to an unthinkable, non-essential nothing – perhaps a perpetual nothing. Gives one pause.

Today’s bee, heading toward a Nanking Cherry, is blissfully ignorant of such things. This one is a full-frame picture. That means that I didn’t crop it like I normally do (by that I mean, you usually get about 1/3 of the entire shot). I liked the composition and thought it scaled down to 1000 pixels wide quite nicely. And thought it was worthwhile, in this case, to show what I saw through the lens when I clicked. Plus nailing the focus in-flight is pretty rare (for me, at least).

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Pollen-faced Honeybee on a Dandelion

With the Grape Hyacinth fading, seems the dandelion is the flower of choice right now (as far as I can tell). And I really do need to mow today. There are still some in an ornamental cherry, but it’s been so windy…

I’ve not seen very many natives so far this year. A couple of bumbles, leafcutters, and masons – but not many. But looking at pics from previous years, I tend to get more of those shots later in the summer and especially the fall. Not sure why that is. Hope that becomes true again this year. Might have to dig into last year’s stash for some variety. But it’s nice to post fresh stuff – this pic was shot on the 26th of this month.

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Swarm Afterparty

The site of the first swarm, the cedar tree, had a mini-swarm yesterday. Was about the size of a softball and pretty active. Apparently, there were pheromones from the queen left on the branch and someone spread the news. Jody the Beekeeper came and boxed up those little ones and dumped them in with the queen of that swarm.

She also looked in the hive of the third swarm and reported that it’s thriving – and even has a good number of eggs already. So gratified – means I didn’t screw up that capture.

In today’s pic, there are a few staging on branch just above the main concentration. After the bees were gone, I washed off the branch in order to remove the pheromones – and future confusion (hopefully).

Seems Spring is finally here for good – with summer close on its heels. What a great time of year!

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BeeS of the Day – First Swarm

Here’s a shot of the first of the three swarms. They weren’t quite done and it got a bit bigger. The pole-looking thing on the left is a shovel I used to prop up the branch of the cedar tree that they were on. It had bent down about two feet and was in danger of touching the ground.

We put the new box right under the branch and Jody the Beekeeper gave it some good shakes – and presto! Most, including the queen, ended up in the new hive. Such a neat thing.

No idea on the numbers, but I was impressed at how heavy the mass was – how much the branch of that tree had been pulled down. Amazing thing to see.

Oh, and I’ll make a formal post about this later – but if you’d like some honey from these hives – from the bees you see on this site – that can be arranged. There’s plenty to go around and you can get it in pints or quarts. Tasty stuff. And you’ve see the makers every day on this site.

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Yet Another from the Swarm

This one is on a corrugated metal roof that was just below the third (and first, I guess – those swarms chose the same bush/tree) swarm. Seems that lots of bees staged on that roof (and the shed that it covers) before they joined the mass with the queen. The shadow just up and right of her head was made by a couple of her sisters in flight.

The crop is kind of unconventional (both for this site and generally), but I like the composition. And the detail on her is very good. Looking at her, isolated like that for the moment that she was, kind of makes me wonder what was going on in her bee mind.

Kind of an aside, but I generally feel like I can understand mammals to an extent – even fish and reptiles’ behavior seems like something I can get my head around. But the hive-ey creatures – bees, ants, termites, etc., – the colonies… No matter how much I read and learn and observe, I keep thinking that somehow I’m still separated from a real, resonant understanding. I’ll keep at it, but I’m not there yet. Hoping for some sequential epiphanies. So interesting to me.

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Another from the Third Swarm

This one (these three?) is on my shirtsleeve. Apart from being a good profile shot, I think it illustrates that thin slice of depth of focus very well. While I wouldn’t call it art, the composition is interesting to me, too.

The last of the newly-created hives got picked up last night and will be re-homed soon. Just fascinating to me. And I feel really fortunate to have been able to witness and participate in the swarms – and the creation of three new hives.

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