Gardening/Greenery/Garden Insects | My Indoor and Outdoor Photography

Me and the Honeybees

By on August 3, 2012

I spent my morning admiring my frequent visitors and neighbors in my own backyard. I took pictures of honeybees at different times of the day and  continously, day after day for the whole duration of dry summer months.It seems the honeybees get used and accustomed to my presence.They returned to pollinate the same flowers many times,giving me the opportunity to take a unique pose. However,I think of the harm it can bring about the sting.You can just imagine yourself standing in front of stinging bees, all your senses alerts you!

In my previous posts, I have clearly and concisely described the honeybees and what I’ve discovered. I’ve published some;  Bee pollinating a flower, The bee and the flower,  Bee buzz, Complete movement of bees pollinating a flower,  My photo collection of honeybees,  Bees with the dramatic light of light of the sunrise,  Reflections of the morning sun to the bees,  Honeybees in flight,  Honeybees pollinating a flower in different places,  Breathtaking acrobatics of the honeybees,  Images of honeybees in flight,  Honeybees as the leaf-cutter bees, Honeybee face, and The Honeybee fight. It was all about the honeybees.

This is just sharing what I’ve discovered and learned.It’s not only an interesting subject of science but, it is also a good subject for photography.Strictly relying on my own research and discoveries,I’m just sharing additional information about my subject. But somehow, it might be different conclusion from others,but,it’s my freedom to inform. Sometimes, From everyday you hear and read about species, you cannot tell whether to believe or not, unless, you’ll do a wide research,or discover it by yourself.I’m not an entomologist, or scientist, no matter what role we portrayed in people’s mind, We all have the same thing in common. We are all interested in the study of life.These were my thoughts and impressions about it.

It wasn’t easy in the beginning.I can just remember the first day of photographing these subject.I lose my patience,leaving me disappointed for a day.I found them to be very movable and aggressive all the time,hence, the  result of some blurry images.It seems,I need a permission to start my activity.It sounds obvious but, it was a common mistake.I have tried again the week after,I was just standing nearby doing nothing but,watching them waiting for a good action.I’m figuring out on how to begin and the right moment to get a good shot.

Soon after,it works after 2 weeks.They became friendly and approachable. Not an easy tasks, I’ve become more friendlier and wiser to train and bond with them too. Being a curious observer,I moved very slow to get closer,giving them just a minimal disturbance.

Note: (Click on images to view larger)

Honeybee collects nectar from the flower. Honeybees has hairy legs and body.The pollen of these manzanita flower is sticky,it can easily stick to the bees body and legs.I can even touch and caress them while pollinating the flower on my palm.They are not only my neighbors this time but, we’re best of friends now.

Honeybees can fly freely and I’m not out of place.

For more than 6 months is already a long period of making observation about their lifestyle.Beforehand,I’ve already made a lot of research before the beginning of my photography.I loved the bees and I have choosen these honeybees as my summer subject of photography because of my passion with them.These honeybees taught me a lot of patience and I’ve learned a lot from them. Not to mention some unusual things I’ve discovered. We’ll come to that in the middle of these article.You will see some facts and pictures that will make you more understand what I’m talking about.

Something more about the honeybees.

It’s a busy life.Honeybees  day begins pollinating flowers as early as 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. however, Only few honeybees can endure the heat of the sun.hence lessening their numbers mid-afternoon.The heat made them very aggressive.When the sun ray strikes annoying the bees and driving them away.They become sensitive, and slows down leaving only the baby bees and the leaf-cutter bees.However,the male adult can endure more the sun’s heat.They continously pollinate flowers under full sun.It took only2-3 seconds to pollinate one flower and come back to the same flower many times.Even the rain cannot ruin work, unless it is a heavy downpour,still out there to collect nectar.Worker bees drinks and bathe in rain water.(Check the the images below) The tricky side, It’s difficult to tell the difference between the male and female bees. Of course, the worker bees are common that you can see them working full time.

Now, a heavy downpour falls,these honeybee take cover under the leaf of a tree. Still holding the flower. You can just imagine how busy they are, they don’t waste any single second.

My macro shot.An adult honeybee pollinating these Manzanita flower.

The good thing about close-up, you can clearly see the external features; antennae, long tongue,compound eyes,hairy body,hind and forewings, fore,middle and hindlegs which is hairy.

The honeybee and the leaf-cutter bee pollinating the same flower. These image above shows sharing common interest.The small one is a leaf-cutter bee, it is full black and shiny.

The leaf-cutter bee.An stinging insect on the surface cutting a leaf.

Have you even seen a close-up of a bee face? This is it! You can see clearly the heart-shaped face of an adult male bee.The face was covered entirely with pollen,with the antennae,legs. and wings too.It clearly shows here that the eyes is the only part  not covered with pollen.What a horrible face!

Honeybee in flight.


 Take a look at these image.Like humans,competition is common,worker honeybees compete with each other while pollinating the flowers. 

These agent of pollination are good acrobatic performers.To take this kind of trick, I’ve waited until everything is just right.It’s just a funny features.

Honeybee nest site

Chanelling the movement of honeybees.Sometimes, It’s difficult to relate what you’ve discovered.The reason why a backed-up pictures is always present, is to to make you believe and understand more to what I’m talking about.Real pictures works wonders!

While other species do live in forests,Honeybees aren’t particular about where they nest. They prefer a widely spaced near the tree or plants bearing nectar flowers which allow clear flight paths to and from the nest.They built nest in trees, walls,house window, poles, bark of trees, anywhere.

This nest above is too small for a great number of honeybees living here. I guess, It would be too crowded.As the rainy season drew closer,sometimes, weather became wilder and storms fiercer than ever. This is the best home and great headquarters for them.

I’ve found these honeybee nest behind the window just on top of the window casing.

I found these honeybee nest in the tree. Located very close to the manzanita tree.

This is the manzanita tree. I just loved this tree.It beautifies my surrounding and attracting many insects and birds. It also provides a great shade.It’s a native wild tree that grow in home garden. It has an abundant small white flowers.Birds like; Brown wagtail,song birds and tree sparrows are attracted to the red color of its fruit while the honeybees and butterflies were also attracted to the flower.I don’t cut it because it adds shelter that makes atmosphere cool and stable.

My macro shot of the flower that attracted the honeybees and the butterflies.The manzanita flower is a nectar producing flower in our own backyard.The sepal is color yellow and change into light brown 2 days after. I can just rightly call it,” The handsome blooms of summer.”It has small petals in full white and very distinct leaf shape that changes position everytime. If you visit our garden,you might be surprised at what you find.Everywhere you turn,You’ll see lovely birds and neighboring insects.

This is the fruit of the manzanita tree.

Summer has ended.It’s rainy season now, and most of the time bad weather.Rain will surely drive the bees away.I’m already used with their presence,hence, would be missing them.Sometimes,just to cheer myself to get away from boring times,I go back to the same location to see these species,even for just an hour watching them, and snap few shots.Good and bad experiences will carry along the way.Anyway,It was a fulfilling experience to be with them as my pleasant companion everyday.When the weather improves, I ‘ll continue and see for myself  better results.So next,There would be more to enjoy in our own backyard that provides me an interesting subject of photography.

 Note: It’s quite a long article with 1374 word count,  22 images in full color inserted with interesting texts and fun facts.Thanks for stopping here!

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