View Full Version : I'm fascinated by bees

November 16th, 2016, 01:24 AM
I am fascinated by bees. One year we never had any bees in our garden so now I keep a photographic record of the different species.







November 16th, 2016, 02:53 AM
They are fascinating! Have you identified the different names? I've always had a dream of having some hives for honey.

The Fantastical
November 16th, 2016, 09:20 AM
I love bees... I think it is so sad that there numbers have been declining in recent years.

November 16th, 2016, 09:30 AM
No, i should research further but between WF, my garden, photography and writing I need a 26 hour day. I am just heartened the bees have returned. I now focus on plants that attract bees to the garden. It's the same with birds and other critters. Even snails have a place providing they don't push their luck then they provide a good meal for the birds.

I keep hinting I'd like a better camera with interchangeable lenses. My camera is one up from a point and shoot so macro photography is limited. The detail on the last picture where the bees wings are glimmer in the sunlight would have been so much better.

Olly Buckle
November 16th, 2016, 10:02 AM
The top picture looks more like a fly, though it is not that clear, the yellow flowers are a honey bee in the top picture and a white tail bumble bee in the lower.
Bumble bees do collect honey, but they only make a single 'honeypot' honey cell nd the main colony dies off over winter, then the queens start a new colony in the spring. You will see them, much bigger than the regular bumble bees, exploring likely places to build a nest initially, and then foraging for their early brood. Once the new brood are out themselves she stays in the nest, which can vary in size from a dozen or so individuals to several hundred, depending on the species.
The other type are solitary bees, we most regularly see masonary bees round here, they like the lime mortar in older buildings.
Some of my best moments have been with bees, watching a bee emerge from a tray of sealed pupae that I was checking, or standing under a field maple in the early morning listening to half my hive working it. When I was registered with the local police as a bee keeper I used to get called out to swarms, but quite often it was not really a swarm at all, masonary bees which had infested the whole south side of a house, or a single mama bumble under a bale of hay which had buzzed when he lifted it, good fun, you never quite knew what to expect.

November 16th, 2016, 10:09 AM
Hi Olly, the top picture is definitely a bee - there was about 20 of them all buzzing around this nespera tree. Click on the picture to enlarge.

Then this guy appeared on the scene. A solitary bee/wasp. He was a lot bigger and a species I'd not seen here before.

November 16th, 2016, 02:23 PM
Lovely photos, PiP... I share your fascination... We have huge Bumble Bees, here... they make holes in wood, like the rafters of a barn or shed.. well anyway, one day I was cleaning out the barn, and I put a feed sack on the pile to be burned later.. I noticed these huge bees in the sack, so I looked and saw a nest.. I removed the Queen, placed her and part the nest in an open cardboard box... well to make long story shot.. the other bees swarmed over her and stung her to death... someone later told me that the Queen can not desert her hive.. so they killed her.... she was huge and so beautiful....

Olly Buckle
November 16th, 2016, 09:30 PM
There are some flies that are very good bee mimics,lookat the wings, bees have two pairs, flies one; also bees tend to fold their wings in when they sit. You cn see why I thought 'maybe fly'.
When you say the yellow chap is much bigger my first thought was some sort of hornet, but there is usually some sort of black on the back end, though colours do vary even within a species. Of course I don't know your local species, but I would expect them to be pretty similar to ours. Wasps and hornets are smooth, bees are furry, but on the other hand you get older bees like the one in your avatar that are bald in their old age. When honey bees first hatch out in the hive they are beautifully furry, it wears down a bit in the first few weeks when they are working in the hive, but you can still distinguish young bees out working, more of them later in the summer of course, in spring they are all old bees that have overwintered.

November 16th, 2016, 09:37 PM
This is where I get frustrated with my camera. He was more orangey than yellow


Olly Buckle
November 16th, 2016, 09:45 PM
Have a look at this bunch of flies pretending they are bees or wasps.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=fly+that+looks+like+a+bee&biw=1280&bih=613&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjCrovGka7QAhUISRoKHRwxCQUQsAQIKw#imgrc= zyzTfhkV4E7kCM%3A

November 16th, 2016, 10:10 PM
Have a look at this bunch of flies pretending they are bees or wasps.

Cross-dressers - everyone of them !! :triumphant:

November 16th, 2016, 10:21 PM
Lovely pictures. We got our first bee hive this year which very quickly became two. They are fascinating, wonderful wee things.

November 16th, 2016, 10:23 PM
There's a kind of bees that almost every man (and some women) like: boobees :D

But PiP, did you know that bees belong to the third largest order of insects called Hymenoptera, but they're also haplodiploid (sex determination system)? It means that all fertilized eggs will be female - diploid, and have two sets of chromosomes, but unfertilized eggs will always be male - haploid, and have only one set of chromosomes (mothers). Haploid males don't have fathers, and can't have sons (they're sterile), but have grandfathers who have grandsons. Another interesting thing is that females have more genes in common with their sisters than daughters. I always like to mention it as an interesting fact. If you're interested, read "The Selfish Gene" by Dawkins - one of my fav books! :D

Olly Buckle
November 16th, 2016, 10:45 PM
If anyone wants to get into beekeeping 'A manual of beekeeping' by ED Wedmore is the best book I know, you would need to supplement it with something on varroa control though, I gave up when that turned up, it made it too much like work :)

Olly Buckle
November 16th, 2016, 10:49 PM
Cross-dressers - everyone of them !! :triumphant:Yep, posers, give themselves away the way they hold their arms, I mean wings.

Terry D
November 16th, 2016, 10:51 PM
Nice shots, Pip! Four and six are my favorites, you really nailed the focus on those; not so easy to do with those hyperactive little critters.

November 16th, 2016, 11:10 PM
Thanks, Terry.

Number 5 was published in a magazine.

The Fantastical
November 17th, 2016, 05:20 AM
This video of a bee hatching is just incredible!


March 27th, 2018, 09:54 PM

March 31st, 2018, 03:02 PM
b's kneez picz

April 1st, 2018, 02:01 AM
I also love bees and am concerned for their future.
I took these last autumn. The weather got very cold
two days later so these pics were their last days. A
piece of apple goes a long way

21253 21254

Olly Buckle
April 1st, 2018, 08:12 AM
Flies I reckon, Tuesday. Check out posts 8 and 10. The shadow at the bottom of the top picture is great, a picture in itself.