Finally…a Native!

Have only seen honeybees this spring so far…until today. Only got a couple of shots of this little one (sweat bee) before she went elsewhere. Been wondering about them (the natives, I mean) for a while. Was nice to finally see something different. Now…where are the bumbles? In other news, just got a text from our beekeeping friend – our (foster) bees will be back in 3-4 weeks. Fantastic!

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Sweat Bee on a Partridge Feather

This is a neat (if not fairly aggressive) ground cover. Most of the year, it’s greeney-silvery leaves, but in the early summer it throws up blossoms like those in the pic. It’s pretty cold hardy (does well to zone 4) and doesn’t take much water. In fact, it doesn’t want much water.

Don’t have very many shots of bees on it because I’m either not paying great attention when it’s in bloom (so much of the rest of the garden is then, too) or it doesn’t throw all that much pollen. So it was neat to see this little sweat bee on it when I was looking for a pic for today.

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One More Day…and a Tiny Sweat Bee

Here’s a really, really, really tiny sweat bee on a single ‘mum petal. About the size of a grain of rice, give or take. Really, really tiny. And quite cute.

Rough to try to get focus on this one. Might be able to tell given how much/little of the ‘mum is in focus. But pretty compelling, I think.

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A Sweat Bee on a Ratty-looking Chrysanthemum

Late, late, late again. What a day. Missed a funeral I very much wanted to attend. Gallery leased, remodeling begins tomorrow. What a day.

Got to shoot for about ten minutes this afternoon between and among the mess of the day. Manged to get a number of good shots and enjoy myself just a little. In other, sadder news the honeybees were bundled up this evening and are preparing for their journey to the almond groves of California. Can’t wait for spring, and fall isn’t even over yet. Always makes me a little sad to see the bees go south.

But hey, this is a great bee. And one that is going to stick around! Enjoy.

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One of my Favorite Faces

This is a metallic green sweat bee coming out of a sunflower. I just love the color, texture, face, and eye(s). Those three little bumps on the top of the head are eyes, too (ocelli-simple eyes – in contrast to the compound eyes on either side of the head). As far as the metallic ones go, I think the metallic mason bees are a bit neater because they’re whole-body metallic. But the face of the sweat bee is just super. The depth of focus is so tough. On one level, I’d prefer that everything were in focus (see also: focus stacking). On another…and my level (given that I shoot handheld, too)…I think it’s better art when focus (and lack of it) is part of the piece. My site, my preference, I guess. Plus you’ve got to kill or incapacitate the bees to do the focus stacking (or use a focus rail…or whatever else one might do in the not-handheld world). Phew. Happy Friday!

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Waking Up – and a Photobomber

Might not be fair to call that green, metallic sweat bee a photobomber. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t even see it until the picture was on my monitor. The bumble was sleeping on the salvia and just waking up. I anthropomorphize some, but that stretching… A good part of waking up. Anyway, I don’t often see the sweat bees sleeping anywhere. They’re generally pretty active, but looking at all the pictures, this one was inert. I wish I’d have seen it and gotten some shots that were in focus. So seldom that they hold still even a little. Anyway, double bee today. If nothing else, it really illustrates the size disparity between the two varieties.

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Almost Two and a Cone Flower

Shot yesterday late in the day. Great, messy, pollen basket on the honeybee…and the metallic green sweat bee seems interested. It ended up bumping the honey bee, but the honey bee shrugged it off and kept working on the cone flower. Most of them are looking a little haggard now, but there are a few new blossoms, too.

I can’t seem to convince the bees that they all need to stay in the same focal plane. Fun nonetheless.

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