This time on a plant called veronica. Reminds me lots of a salvia, but is quite different. A couple of years ago, we took the lawn out of the parking strip and that garden is maturing nicely. This is a great addition. I really like the parking strip garden because I have much better access to the blooms there than I do in some of the other gardens – being thin, etc. Anyway, this one seems to be favored by the honeybees, mostly. Not real excited about the light on this one…but that might be part of it all – documenting bees when the bees are out. Great tongue on this one.
First, check out the little photobomber there below (and to the right of) the bee. Always so much going on. Lots of varieties of hens and chicks (sempervivum) in our gardens – from all over the world. They throw up bloomstalks once a year – and it’s usually the wool carder bees (and sometimes a particular leafcutter) that get excited about them – so seldom the bumbles. This variety of semp’s flowers are a little different and the bumbles seem drawn to it. Great profile shot of this one.
I can never remember the name of this flower. It looks and acts much like a lily, but isn’t. Apparently, it’s an Alstroemeria – and is also called a Peruvian lily or lily of the Incas. I guess the difference is that lilies grow from bulbs while these grow from tubers. Whatever the case, they’re pretty neat plants and seem to bloom for at least two or three months every year here (climate zone 5b).
They’re not particularly fantastic for pollinators – at least in my observation – in that I don’t get many shots on them (read I don’t see bees on them very often). So I get pretty excited when I get a decent shot.
I like this one of the bumble – kind of splayed in flight – and I like that you can see the just-starting-to-fill pollen baskets pretty well (one in excellent focus).
Two other things about this shot: First, so many of the in-flight ones look like they’re approaching. Or our confirmation bias says that this must be the case. But, in truth, most of them are shot (by me, at least) as they’re backing out of the flower – like this one. Second, in that fold of the petals just above the bee, you can see a bit of a spider’s web – and just a bit of the spider.
Back to the well…well, the Russian sage, at least. Shot this one several days ago and if I remember correctly, one of these two was asleep – while the other was actively working. I often get more than one bee (or other pollinator) in a picture, but it’s really rare to get focus on two. The background is a little busy, but so is the Russian sage. As are the bees. So it’s truth in documentation, I guess. Early morning light. Neat detail on these wet ones.
Those of you who have been around for a while know that I enjoy the shadows. Not sure where the bee is in this one, but it’s a neat shape – that dark green on the left side. Also pay attention to the antennae. They’re articulated about 1/4 or 1/3 from the base. In this one, she’s got the right one bent and the left one straight – kind of straddling the top of the blossom. Just a good, workbeelike shot of a pretty worker.
Dang, I seldom use politically correct language. But that one seemed to work. As it were.
Loving the colors in this one. The background. The shapes.
One thing I’d like you to notice is the apparent age of the worker bee. Although the queens live five to seven years (give or take) the worker bee has a lifespan of just about six weeks after she leaves the hive and becomes a collector of pollen and nectar (she spends a bit of time before that caring for things within the hive).
If you look at this one, you might notice a couple of things: First, she’s lost most of her hair on her thorax. It’s nearly bare. That happens as they age. The next is the shape her wings are in. You can see that the ends of her wings are tattered. She’s literally worn them out.
Seems I haven’t gotten as many shots this summer on the cone flowers. Not sure if it’s time of day, something else weird, or other plants throwing more/better pollen. There’s a magenta one I don’t think I’ve gotten a single shot on. Anyway, here’s a great leafcutter on an echinacea – and I never use that name because I can neither remember nor spell it. Cone flower. Or, because I misheard initially, corn flower. Which is another flower entirely. It’s early. I yammer. The abdomen-up bee.