Nature's Place

Dear Bee …








All of a sudden it went from hot to cold and you were caught out in the rain, needing heat to fly, weighed down by water. Lucky there was a flower to land on and wait out the weather.

When I saw you the rain had been falling for a day and you looked on the verge of drowning but I’m sure your kind are no strangers to such events, or the hunger that drives.

Regardless, I arranged some background to shoot against and after a while the flower you gripped so tight fell from the stem to the earth, naturally worn out, dead.

So I picked you up, still gripping the dead flower, and brought you to where we could both relax and recover. It was easier for me to shoot from a stool and you dried out, good all round.

After a while you started to move and flex your wings, and I knew it wouldn’t be long before you were away on the breeze, rain permitting, in search of your fulfilment, as a bee.

And as I watched that’s exactly what you did, took to the air, and I saw you fade to the distance, a small dark dot becoming nothing quickly – disappeared from sense, no more in mind.


I went for a walk in the garden, camera in hand, and there you were again, or a brother or sister, feeding on the same kind of flower, still a little tired from the weather event.

Climbing, not flying, from flower to flower, so unlike a bee, I waited until you were occupied, focussed, and moved in for a shot, or two, and I was lucky.

We were lucky, I got some pix, you got to live a little more, eat, then fly away, doing bee things.

Not a bad day’s work at all, for a monkey and a bee.

On the earth that makes and breaks us …

… what we are and what we are not.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge


24 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Alex Jones said, on 09/01/2015 at 6:32 am

    Indeed a good day for the bee and the photographer, plus the added bonus of a little honey for the hive and beautiful photographs for the reader of your blog.

    • Mark said, on 09/01/2015 at 1:10 pm

      Thanks Alex … Yes, a good day all round.

  2. Robert said, on 04/01/2015 at 10:01 am

    First of all, wonderful pictures! Did you have a page that discussed your gear? I saw several posts about your diffusers used for the flash, but not the type of lense used.

    • Mark said, on 04/01/2015 at 10:46 am

      Thanks Robert. Bees make wonderful subjects when they slow down enough.

      I do mention gear here, halfway down the page – but It’s the lighting that makes a picture – light determines the clarity, and it’s clarity that attracts the intelligence, the eye is drawn to the detail by virtue of clarity.

      There is much useful information and links on that page and you are welcome to ask any further technical questions there.

  3. ssaa08 said, on 04/01/2015 at 5:27 am


  4. David said, on 02/01/2015 at 2:23 pm

    A really nice set if photos and story.

  5. yogaguerillagrrl said, on 01/01/2015 at 8:40 pm

    Lovely.. I am also a bee rescuer from way back. Love the little fellows.

    • Mark said, on 01/01/2015 at 9:45 pm

      Thanks YGG … Your site came up as untrusted by FireFox, so you know …

      • yogaguerillagrrl said, on 02/01/2015 at 12:53 pm

        Really… not usually known for my untrustworthiness. Thanks :(

        • Mark said, on 02/01/2015 at 1:32 pm

          NP. Given it’s a WP hosted site there is obviously some issue with FF, or with WP hosting at the time.

  6. afrenchgarden said, on 01/01/2015 at 5:57 pm

    Lovely story, Mark. It makes me look forward to our spring and more adventures with the bees in my garden. I’m looking forward to improving my photography too and thanks for the lesson, I’ll take my time. I loved this series of photographs. Amelia

    • Mark said, on 01/01/2015 at 9:42 pm

      Thanks Amelia. The natural world goes on regardless. There’s no sense in tension except in learning something new, then it’s all about relaxing (enough) to do it well. When you know your working distance you get focus all the quicker.

  7. Nature on the Edge said, on 01/01/2015 at 3:41 pm

    It’s wonderful to come up close to all the fine details which you present to us here. The last scene captures what I think I see as a long tongue siphoning up nectar from the flower – and the encounter so beautifully resolved.

    • Mark said, on 01/01/2015 at 4:58 pm

      That’s right Liz. A break in the weather and the bees were about drinking all they could, those who were already out and about. It was a matter of timing, and knowing a thing or two. Once the bee starts drinking its attention is fully occupied, and while tired and it was wet the drinking took longer than usual so I had a few seconds to grip the stem and approach at the right angle to get things in focus and steady.

  8. Victor Rakmil said, on 01/01/2015 at 1:39 pm

    Incredible photographs.

    • Mark said, on 01/01/2015 at 4:53 pm

      Thanks Victor … amazing nature really …

  9. KDKH said, on 01/01/2015 at 1:36 pm

    Lucky bee! He looks all dry & fluffy!

    • Mark said, on 01/01/2015 at 4:53 pm

      It was a warm enough day, just wet for so long s/he didn’t eat for a while and they have no fat reserves. But yes, he recovered …

  10. furrygnome said, on 01/01/2015 at 1:05 pm

    Simply incredible!

  11. Cate said, on 01/01/2015 at 12:55 pm

    Love your macrophotography of insects, Mark. Your respect and appreciation for them — and their exquisite beauty — shines through your work. I’m glad you lend them a hand when needed, too!

    • Mark said, on 01/01/2015 at 4:50 pm

      Thanks Cate. It’s one way to realise more good in my life. The bees love it, I know … :-)

Comment or Question?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: