Common Eastern Bumblebee: Laudholm Farms (Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve), Wells, Maine, USA, September 2023 — At least three species of bees and one of hoverflies were out in great numbers in the Goldenrod at Laudholm Farms on a sunny afternoon…all busy harvesting pollen. This Bumblebee is well on the way to carrying a full load. OM Systems OM-1 with the ED 100-400mm zoom at 800mm equivalent from just over 4 feet. Program mode with my custom bird and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Pro. ISO 200 @ f6.3 @ 1/800th.
Common Eastern Bumblebee: Kennebunk Plains, York County, Maine, USA, August 2023 — before Northern Blazing Star season slips completely away, one last shot. Of course the Blazing Star bloom is a magnet to every pollen collecting bug in southern Maine. There were bees of every sort found here, including this common Bumblebee. OM Systems OM-1 with ED 100-400mm zoom at 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Pro and Apple Photos. ISO 1250 @ f6.3 @ 1/640th.
For some reason the Carpenter Bees and Ground Bees outnumber the Honey Bees on the Plains, even during the Northern Blazing Star bloom. Maybe no one keeps hives close enough. I am always happy, considering the decline in bee populations, to see a Honey Bee at work. I enjoy my honey! OM Systems OM-1 with ED 100-400mm zoom at 800mm equivalent. (Makes a decent macro lens as well 🙂 Program mode with my birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Pro. ISO 200 @ f6.3 @ 1/800th.
Green Metallic Bee on Wood Lily: Two of my favorites in one shot (well, two shots for variety). A tiny Green Metallic Bee visiting one of the few blooming Wood Lilies I have found so far this year…out on the Kennebunk Plains Nature Conservancy. It was only about 5 years ago that I saw my first Green Metallic Bee in our front yard, but I am on the lookout for them now, and see them often. You have to look close! And of course I look for the Wood Lilies every year in July. OM Systems OM-1 with 100-400mm zoom at 770mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom bird modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Pro. ISO 200 @ f6.3 @ 1/640th.
Honey Bee in wild Lupine: York County, Maine, USA, June 2023 — It is Lupine season in southern Maine. The crop does not seem as full this year as last, but that might be my aging imagination. I have photographed this same stand of lupine, in a hayfield near Emmon’s Preserve, every year for many years. The bees are always busy there. OM Systems OM-1 with 100-400mm zoom at 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my evolving bird modifications (which work for bees and dragonflies very well). Processed in Pixelmator Pro. ISO 640 @ f6.3 @ 1/640th.
Honey Bee: SMHC Kennebunk, Kennebunk, Maine, USA, June 2023 — Busy bee! I am not sure what ate the petals of the flower, but it is not bothering the bee. Note the heavy pollen basket on the hind leg. This is a telephoto macro with the OM Systems 100-400mm zoom at 800mm equivalent, on the OM-1 body. Program mode with my evolving bird modifications (which work, as you see, quite well for bugs). Processed n Pixelmator Pro. ISO 200 @ f8 @ 1/1250th. -1EV.
I am on the bus, already at 3am, on the first leg of my journey to Panama and the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge. Yesterday at our family 4th of July cookout I walked the edge of an overgrown meadow looking for a photo to post on my way to the airport. This big Green Metallic Bee…very big as Green Metallic Bees go…in the fresh Knapweed caught my eye. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f5 @ 1/1000th.
Leaf-cutter Bee: SMMC Kennebunk, Kennebunk, Maine, USA, June 2022 — This is most probably a Leaf-cutter Bee, which I found working the flowers around the drainage ponds at Southern Maine Medical Center in Kennebunk. (Less probably it is a Mason Bee, which apparently looks and acts very much like the Leaf-cutter…but which builds mud nests). Both are solitary bees, great pollinators, but not honey makers. In looking them up this morning I found that there is a whole Leaf and Mason Bee culture out there, with firms that will sell you starter sets to establish the bees in your garden or farm or orchard, to help with pollination, and lots of instructional material on-line about keep them. Who knew. Not I. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. (This is a heavy crop, enlarged with Pixelmator’s ML Enlarge tool.) ISO 100 @ f8 @ 1/1250th.
Someone gave us a few Turtlehead plants many years ago, and they have grown into 4 substantial clumps in the shade of the trees along either edge of our yard. Turtleheads are more commonly a flower of the stream-side. We have the white variety growing wild along the Kennebunk River not from from home. They are such a strange flower, closed in on themselves and not very inviting, but the big bumblebees we have here in Southern Maine seem to like them, and are very busy forcing their ways into the throat of the turtle and back out again laden with pollen. I was out with my iPhone for some macro and semi-macro shots. This one was taken with the Sirui 60mm portrait lens on the Moment thin case at about 2x digital zoom with the standard Apple Camera app. Smart HDR engaged. Processed in Apple Photos.
I seem to be photographing a lot of bees this month, both around home, and during our visit to New Mexico. Maybe August is the month of the bee? There are certainly a lot of bees in the Blazing Star boom on the Kennebunk Plains. Mostly Bumble Bees like this one…which is, I am thinking, the Common Eastern Bumble Bee (though there are several others it might be). This shot catches the business end of the bee…ready to prob deeply into the Blazing Star for pollen, and you can see by the pollen sacks on the legs that this bee has already been busy. Bumble Bees to occasionally sting (mostly when trapped or squashed), and I certainly would not want to be on the receiving end of that stinger. This is a shot from the Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Cropped and processed as usual in Polarr and then opened in Pixelmator Pro for enlargement using the Machine Learning Maximum Resolution tool, and recropped to fill the frame, for what amounts to a super-telephoto macro. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/640th.