BC Day Long Weekend part 2: Bees in the garden

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A second feature of this past weekend was getting out to various gardens and plantings to see some flower visitors. I first stopped off at the Strathcona community garden, then some gardens near Commercial drive.

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Early morning on Echinacea: often bumblebees don’t make it home in the evening, and I find them dew-wettened, clinging to the flowers they were visiting the previous evening. They are in no mood to fly in this state, and I get the opportunity to experiment with lighting.

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With a diffused flash to the left, and a reflector card on the right, this bee gets the beauty treatment, despite her bad hair day!

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For some reason, this bumblebee looks to me like she is enjoying a belly laugh.

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The advantage of working with immobilized insects cannot be overstated. This shot mixes in the dawn light, hence the sunbeam!

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I found a few other creatures in the garden, such as this awesome sac spider.

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This flower longhorn was one of the few non-bee insects I ended up shooting at Strathcona.

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Here is a dew-wettened honeybee on some kind of mint.

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And a dry honeybee foraging on Echinacea.

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Later, during the heat of the day, I went to Grandview Park near Commercial Drive. This is our native paper wasp, Polistes aurifer.

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There were a whole lot of the introduced wool carder bees (Anthidium manicatum) foraging and stalking on catmint. Here is a male on his lookout perch, where he watches for rivals and females to chase.

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One of the few times they are still is during copulation, wherein the male violently grabs the female while she feeds. I believe the white tuft on the male tibia has something to do with shading part of the female’s eye.

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They seem to be having a good time.

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I do not normally chill insects, but this male I chilled for a short time to see what would happen. they are normally out on such hot days, it stood to reason they would be sensitive to chilling. This procedure allowed about a minute of shooting, and in not such terrible positions either.

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Here he is, looking fierce and about to fly off.

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Booty duty: this natural light shot shows a megachilid with a scopa full of pollen.

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Pretty boy: finding the male of Agapostemon texanus is a wonderful thing. The combination of the striped abdomen and brilliant green is hard to resist. They would steal my heart from Coelioxys if they weren’t so damn fast!

2 thoughts on “BC Day Long Weekend part 2: Bees in the garden

  1. Pingback: Morsels For The Mind – 15/08/2014 › Six Incredible Things Before Breakfast

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