Many bees and one that’s not

So, bees … they’re hard work aren’t they?!  But when you get a good shot it’s worth it. Yesterday and today I’ve spent some of my photography time chasing bees. This is the usual result:

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Goodbye Mr Bee, nice knowing you (briefly)

They’re usually too fast and fly away when you come near, so you get a shot like that (although I kind of like it anyway!). Either that or the bee is fuzzy and out of focus – maybe the flower is beautifully crisp but the bee not so much, or maybe just all of it is blurry and no good at all.

Sometimes it does work though and if the bee is doing something slightly odd, all the better – this one was just lifting up his front legs to clean up his mouthparts and he looks like he’s rearing up to roar or something (well, that’s what it looks like to me). I love the shine on the willow catkin in this one too.

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Rrrraaaaah!! I am BEE!

One thing we noticed when chasing bees was that sadly there are quite a lot of bees that have an infestation of bee mites:

I was really quite concerned as I’d heard that this was the cause of a virus which kills whole colonies. After a bit more googling it seems that it’s not such a problem for bumblebees like these, but it’s the honeybees have the problems with the mites. So in theory the bumblebees aren’t too bothered by them, although the one on the dandelion didn’t seem well at all and one of its wings didn’t seem to be able to flap, poor thing.

One other thing I discovered from googling after chasing bees is that there are many kinds. I hadn’t realised that there are actually many different types of bumblebee, and then there are honeybees and also lots of different sorts of solitary bees. The bees in the photos above are, I think Buff-tailed Bumblebees, but there are many other bumblebees – have a look at the Bumblebee Conservation Society pages if you’re interested in the different types. This one is (I think) a Tree Bumblebee:

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Tree Bumblebee trying to hide his face in a dandelion, sick of the bee paparazzi!

This is a honeybee I reckon …

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Honeybee on Erica, just going about his business

And finally … this is not a bee at all (I think it is a Drone Fly) …

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Drone fly showing off his big nothing-like-a-bee eyes
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7 thoughts on “Many bees and one that’s not

  1. An interesting and intriguing post. Great macro shots – I have never seen any photos that showed bee mites so clearly, certainly thought provoking. I saw a documentary about commercial bee hives in the USA a couple of years ago that mentioned how widespread unexplained mass hive death was now. I couldn’t help wondering if the commercial breeding and constant transportation of hives from state to state to pollinate fruit trees etc. had somehow damaged the bees genetically, not to mention all the chemicals used to maintain and clean out the hives and ‘treat’ the bees. I assume similar commercial bee hives are also used in the UK and other countries too, so the whole problem of the dying bees is complex.

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    1. Thanks for reading 🙂 There’s a lot in the news here in the UK at the moment about the possibility of pesticides being a cause of the loss of bees. It does sound very complex as many different things may be interacting. There does seem to be plenty of bees round here though, now the weather has warmed up a bit.

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