Up close with a bee

This bee spent ages buzzing round the meadow edge working hard to get every last drop of nectar and some pollen along the way.  Not sure what type of bee, but he had a great expression and seemed to be enjoying the moment.  Normally you just get to photograph their bottoms as they are a little wary of you hanging about and turn their backs on you, but this one was so intent on getting his sugar fix, his little eyes almost popping out, he didn’t mind one bit!

Its fascinating to watch them pick out each flower head and meticulously go to work.  Solitary bees pollinating and honey bees carryout a two-fold task of pollenating and nectar collecting to take back to the hive for food and to create honey.  Look out in the early evening for solitary bees snoozing on stalks or other quick makeshift sites for the night.  They have a short working life, so if you can, make a solitary bee “hotel” and give them a dry, warm, safe room for the night.  There are many websites detailing how to make these and not just for bees.

And, although the bees can be quite hard to photograph to not just get “bottom shots”, they wont sting and will let you get quite near, if not almost on top of them.  Use a wide-angle lens and get as close as you can, the lens will focus well and allow for movement, where the zoom lens will find it difficult to lock on and focus and the light levels can be restrictive.  The bees are very intent on working, so if you stay for a while and be patient, the will almost ignore you. ♥

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