Nature's Place

Our Beautiful Blue Banded Bee

P1070835 - Mark Berkery

Anyone who has been following my posts on this site will know I have worked at making the garden a place for the little ones to visit, maybe even stay and nest. You will know the endeavour has been somewhat successful, weather permitting.

P1070802 - Mark Berkery

The other day I went about clearing away a years fallen palm leaves and on the way got to see places I don’t usually go. At one of those places, coming to dusk, I came upon a band of bees hovering, landing, taking of and doing it over and over – as BBB’s (and others) do.

P1070817 - Mark Berkery

So I sat and watched a while and – it came to pass – the place is a nest of males, where they rest out the night. I had seen females looking for suitable nest sites during the day. I have only so far seen this roosting behaviour in the fields by the rain-forest remnant – and was pleased to see it around the house, indeed.

P1070799 - Mark Berkery

After enough of the dark hours had passed and the bees were well enough asleep I went to see what could be done to get a few pix – which can be a disturbing affair, to the bees, and myself – because it often involves some disturbance of the environment they roost and in the prevailing climate they are warm enough to fly even though they can’t see to well in the dark.

P1070825 - Mark Berkery

And this is what happened. I was in position with various bits and pieces (necessary for night shooting) and had slipped some BG material in place to better show the bees off and one was spooked and flew off, then another. I kept track as much as possible and found one that has settled on some nearby dead banana tree stem – which I leave in place to break-down to form habitat and eventually humus – got a shot or two and left it in place.

P1070846 - Mark Berkery

I lost track of the other that was disturbed and just trusted it didn’t lose itself in the undergrowth and would be ok come morning and go about its little life – I’ll never really know. But when I finished and went back towards the house I heard this buzzing noise I usually only hear when I am close to a bee. And there was the second one, buzzing up to the exposed light-bulb – it had hitched a ride on my clothes.

P1070845 - Mark Berkery

I got a glass and a cap for it; improvised from available material I leave about, and set about capturing the little bee. It wasn’t too difficult, you just have to be careful not to injure it when slipping the cap on and containing it. When that was done I brought it back to the spot I had disturbed it from – a place that gets the early morning sun – and set it up so it would live out the night and even make its way back to it’s roosting mates.

P1070852 - Mark Berkery

And it all seemed to work out fine. The bee climbed out of the containing glass by the thin stick I left jutting out of it and leaning against a taller stem – its preferred roost – and it climbed and went back to sleep. I don’t tag them, obviously, but I trust he lived to work another day and maybe even learned something from the experience – don’t go flying at night, it’s only a photographer when the flash goes off. :)

P1070860 - Mark Berkery

And one I held a leaf behind for the BG.

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture to enlarge in a new tab – best in FireFox


46 Responses

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  1. The Wanderlust Gene said, on 17/05/2013 at 2:19 pm

    I’m hooked! Beautiful shots of some of the stunning creatures my eyes can barely see, let alone in such detail. As Owl McCloud said above – an amazing blog.

  2. afrenchgarden said, on 27/03/2013 at 3:12 am

    Amazing photographs!

  3. infreegarden said, on 05/03/2013 at 11:09 pm

    Very nice close up pictures! Well done!

  4. skavop said, on 22/02/2013 at 8:05 am

    Wow! The colours and detail in these photos is just stunning. They remind me of the hyper-realist painters work. My mind is officially blown. Thanks.

    • Mark said, on 22/02/2013 at 8:12 am

      I just endeavour to bring out the best in them by my affinity for the little things that make us/me up. And I am not beyond a little artifice for effect. But don’t tell anyone, especially the realists … :)

  5. annika said, on 12/02/2013 at 12:19 am

    that is beautiful! will it make honey like others?

    • Mark said, on 12/02/2013 at 4:55 am

      It is surely, Annika. It won’t make honey so it is disregarded by the world where money is god – it’s why the cliff is so close … :)

      Some scientists have tried to demonstrate how useful they can be in pollinating certain cash crops but if that is what the future of nature depends on it’s a bleak one …

  6. smccann27 said, on 11/02/2013 at 2:52 am

    Awesome! I love finding sleeping bees. These are really something.

    • Mark said, on 11/02/2013 at 2:59 am

      Yes, they are. And I am in a country where the numbers can’t even be guessed at, and so much uninhabited land.

  7. Onibe said, on 10/02/2013 at 12:24 am

    pure beauty…

  8. Alex Jones said, on 09/02/2013 at 8:52 am

    These are beautiful shots, as beautiful as your caring for these animals.

    • Mark said, on 09/02/2013 at 4:53 pm

      Thanks Alex, just doing what’s in my nature – the best of it most of the time, I think … :)

  9. Lois Randall said, on 09/02/2013 at 6:39 am

    As always, Mark, you’ve made my day so much brighter with your photos and story. What a gorgeous bee! Blessings on you and the little ones you tend to with such lovingkindness.
    Sending gentle hugs your way,

    • Mark said, on 09/02/2013 at 4:52 pm

      Hello Lois. They are beauties, aren’t they …

  10. urbanhorticulture said, on 09/02/2013 at 5:11 am

    These bee pictures are absolutely gorgeous! It makes me want that macro camera lens even more! Can’t wait to sit out in the sun and watch the bees drink nectar and pollinate in my roof top garden!

  11. standingoutinmyfield said, on 09/02/2013 at 4:53 am

    Sooooo beautiful…

  12. Godfried said, on 09/02/2013 at 4:34 am

    Mark these pictures are really beautiful macro`s. Wow what a colours.

    • Mark said, on 09/02/2013 at 4:19 pm

      Thanks Godfried. It’s unusual for the blue to show so well …

  13. mike585 said, on 09/02/2013 at 3:58 am

    Lovely images.

  14. smallpebbles said, on 09/02/2013 at 12:25 am

    Oh how lovely! Truly Lovely! And magnificent photos! Gardening here in India and am always thrilled by the endless life forms that show up (well, honestly not always, not thrilled by the poisonous centipedes and scorpions although I like to look but from a distance!). in peace…..

    • Mark said, on 09/02/2013 at 3:04 am

      I am sure there’s be no end to the variety there. Though you have to be careful anywhere.

  15. paranoiasnfm said, on 08/02/2013 at 9:42 pm

    Amazing! :o

  16. Chillbrook said, on 08/02/2013 at 9:09 pm

    A stunning series Mark.

  17. Garden Walk Garden Talk said, on 08/02/2013 at 8:39 pm

    I enjoyed your story about the bee and also the remarkable closeup shots. The bee itself is a little beauty.

  18. Bill Symington said, on 08/02/2013 at 5:24 pm

    What a beautiful set of images big thanks for your time and words

  19. Redterrain said, on 08/02/2013 at 5:12 pm

    These are absolutely stunning images!

  20. gwenniesgarden said, on 08/02/2013 at 5:04 pm

    wowwwww !!!

  21. Deb said, on 08/02/2013 at 4:59 pm

    Wow Mark! A great set. I love these bees and have only had fleeting moments with them. To have a bunch of them nesting in your yard, how wonderful! I know how you feel about trying not to disturb them. I feel bad when I accidentally displace insects too.

    • Mark said, on 08/02/2013 at 7:50 pm

      Thanks Deb. It’s the ambient temperature, it is warm enough at night that they can still fly. That will change soon enough and they will be more easily photographed …

  22. Laura Conowitch said, on 08/02/2013 at 3:24 pm

    What a gorgeous little creature!

  23. OwlMcCloud said, on 08/02/2013 at 3:13 pm

    An amazing blog!!

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