Laden Bumble in Flight

Pretty neat shot. I like that you can see so many of the legs hanging down…as well as the tongue split and the antennae. Wings, too. Lots going on in this pic and lots I don’t often see on one in flight. That is, of course, Russian Sage. If you’re looking for a plant that’s not very thirsty, blooms for most of the season (early summer until the frost), and attracts all manner of pollinators, Russian Sage fits the bill. They’re really fantastic. And really bulletproof-hearty.

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Bumble on a Sunflower…Leaf

Another brutally long day. But some progress. About ready to file everything in the “bitten off more than I can chew” bucket.

But this site is about bees – not kvetching. So here’s a great one from August. Some interesting composition and bokeh – and the bee looks great, too. If you look closely, you get a good look at the claws on the two front legs as they grip the edge of the leaf. Another interesting thing to note is that you can see that the leaf has a thickness. Of course it does, but it’s not something I think about when I think of leaves. Note, too, that the grasshoppers have been to work on that particular leaf…like just about everything else in the garden.

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A Rare Sight: Bumble in the Asters

I see lots of natives in the asters – especially the sweat bees. The honeybees make the asters pulse with life…but I so so so seldom get a bumble in them. Here’s one from yesterday. Got a few great shots of it working on the flowers, but I’m a sucker for in-flight shots. So that’s what you get today. So many asters, too. They change and hybridize and wander through the garden. Gorgeous! Oh, and there’s a bonus honeybee that’s almost in focus.

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The Third of that Three-fer

Another bumble on the cone flower. This one may be a golden…or may not. Third of three bees (and note there’s no honeybee in the three-fer, tho there well could have been) on the cone flower. This one was shot in some pretty bad light so there’s a bit of a graininess to it, but it’s a great look at her face.

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The First of a Three-fer

The next three days are shots of the same flower… A really nice, pink cone flower. And they’re to illustrate the variety of the bees that collect pollen on that flower. Today’s is a pretty rare (at least in my experience) grey and black bumble. And the sunburst in the back is neat – as are the stacked cone flowers.

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Just Another Bumble on a Sunflower

I think that this is a golden bumble on an unknown variety of sunflower. I really like the red-tinged petals. They seem to vary from flower to flower on this particular one – some being more red than others. Not lots to say about this shot. The light’s not great, but there’s lots to like about it (including the bee’s shadow).

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Late Shot on the Sunflower

This heavy schedule of art festivals nearly every weekend is killing me. Only have just more than a full day back – then on the road again. Tried to shoot bees this evening. Almost 7:00 p.m. here. Got some strange light, but a great bee, great flower, great focus, interesting background…and that shadow. Something I love.

Sorry for being brief, scattered, and a bit off today. Try to love this shot…

And I really could use some help selecting shots for the calendar…please.

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That Fantastic Gaillardia

So today I got the nicest email from a regular visitor to the site. She mentioned that she enjoyed the site, thanked me for the pictures and posts, and told me that she’d found and purchased some of the Gaillardia Mesa Peach (blanket flowers) in order to better attract (and provide for) bees – and reported her (and their) success in glowing words.

That note really made my day. So gratifying on so many levels. Thank you!

So…for today…I went out a few minutes ago and grabbed this shot. Patty, this one’s for you:

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Hens & Chicks Doing Their Part

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.

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Departing a Alstroemeria

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.

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