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Honeybee, cold winter day.

Honeybee, cold winter day.
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter Stoeckl (peter_stoeckl) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1738 W: 291 N: 4005] (11530)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-02-13
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4600
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2006-02-18 22:07
Viewed: 4578
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Apis mellifera (Linnaeus, 1758)
Honeybee, female worker.

Order: Hymenoptera
Suborder: Apocrita
Family: Apidae
Subfamily: Apinae
Tribe: Apinini
Genus: Apis

Who would have expected meeting any insect on a cold winter day in February, skiing high up in the Tyrolese mountains? We did, spotting a few honey bees freezing in the snow, an unexpected and touching experience.

Upper picture: Nordic Skiing track at Kartitscher Sattel, Lienzer Dolomiten, Tyrolese mountains, near the village of Obertilliach, at an elevation of 1530m above sea level, date: February 13, 2006, 13:00.
Daytime temperature between – 10°C and – 5°C.

Lower picture: Honeybee in the snow, same time, same location as above.

Honeybees probably originated in Tropical Africa and spread from South Africa to Northern Europe and East into India and China. Four species have historically been cultured for or robbed of honey by humans: Apis mellifera (Western honeybee), Apis florea (Dwarf honeybee/little bee), Apis cerana and Apis dorsata. They have been domesticated at least since the time of the building of the Egyptian pyramids.

Apis mellifera, the most commonly domesticated species, is native to Europe, Asia and Africa. It is also called the Western honeybee. Honeybees collect nectar and store it as honey in their hives. Nectar and honey provides the energy for the bees flight muscles and for heating the hive during the winter period. Like other eusocial bees, a colony generally contains one breeding female, or "queen"; a few thousand males, or "drones"; and a large population of sterile female workers. Honeybee wings beat at a constant rate of 230 beats per second or 13,800 beats/minute.

(Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey_bee)

Living from honey deposits collected during the warm seasons, honeybees stay active during hibernation. By constant shivering of their wing muscles female workers keep the temperature inside the hive at a high level. Bright sunshine obviously attracts some of the bees to leave the hive even on a cold winter day – risking death before being able to return.

Both pictures were taken with a miniature pocket Nikon Coolpix 4600E.

Upper (landscape):
2288x1712, sRGB, 6mm, F/4.9, 1/735sec, ISO=50.

Lower (macro):
2288x1712, sRGB, 17mm, F/8.2, 1/390sec, ISO=50.

Pictures were cropped, combined and resized to 800x800 by Photoshop.

By the way, we did our best to rescue that bee from the cold. Please have a look into workshop.

Thank you for looking.
Have a nice and sunny weekend.

hummingbird24, emmari, Runnerduck, samos, phlr, dew77, Merlin, SkyF, TheMystic has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To ingridshaul: ... tell a storypeter_stoeckl 2 06-20 23:05
Our Planetingridshaul 1 06-12 06:50
To hummingbird24: care of the little thingspeter_stoeckl 1 02-19 18:11
To Runnerduck: bees, snow, and skiingpeter_stoeckl 1 02-19 17:49
To Merlin: back to TNpeter_stoeckl 1 02-19 16:33
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Peter,

There is a saying that "if you take care of the little things, the larger ones will take care of themselves".

I am paraphrasing here, hoping that you will know what I mean in this instance.

I salute you and your wife for caring enough to try...

And, yes, it is very touching.

Great photos plus ws.

Details, colors, POV, exposure are wonderful and you tell the tale very well.

Thank you!

Impressive combination, Peter.
The skiing zone looks so beautiful and calm on a sunny day, but the frozen bee leaves one with a sense of loss and pity.

OOOOOhhhhh, arme Biene, wo hast Du sie nur gefunden? Ich habe die Tage ein kleines Stück von einem Schmetterlingsflügel im Schnee schillern sehen, aber gleich ein ganzes Insekt?!? Mir gefällt die Collage, ein wunderschönes Stückchen Erde auf dem oberen Bild, Winterwonderland, ich möchte gerade hier unterwegs sein, sieht so ruhig und unberührt aus. (Hast wohl alle Langläufer noch im Rücken??? Haha)
Vielen Dank für die schöne Post, die Biene ist excellent scharf, gar nicht so leicht mit dem glitzernden hellen Schnee dahinter.
Tschüssi, schönen Sonntag
Sabine - wishnugauda

An incredible capture of this bee, excellent detail and no problem with the whites. Amazing to find such a bee in the snow. I know from experience ski-ing that it can be incredibly warm, but bee's and snow in my head just don't mix!

A lovely empty ski run there Peter, we're trying to plan a ski holiday for next year and will probably end up in Austria - our first family ski holiday, can't wait!

Thanks for posting, and extra points for saving the bee :-)

Thank you Peter for this nature story! I think it's a nice and peaceful place for a honeybee to die.

  • Great 
  • samos Gold Star Critiquer [C: 79 W: 4 N: 2] (39)
  • [2006-02-19 4:31]

Hello Peter very beautiful photo the sharpenss of this Honeybee are perfect excellent work my friend Peter thanks regards Stavros

  • Great 
  • phlr Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 130 N: 882] (2821)
  • [2006-02-19 5:19]

A perfect composition Peter!
The enviroment and the "catch" by it!
Excellent notes too!
Excellent details of the frozen bee!
Keep on going and TFS!

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-02-19 10:11]

Hello Peter!
Wonderful capture and presentation.Clear details,
sharpness and your note are excellent.

Welcome back, Peter - hope you enjoyed your holiday. I'm getting as soft as you as I get older - constantly rescuing caterpillars from footpaths and moths from inside shops, etc - you get some very strange looks! I'm sure your wife will be delighted with the way you've introduced her to us all ;)

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-02-19 15:53]

Hallo Peter,
huch was macht denn eine Biene im Schnee? Muss erstmal deine Anmerkung lesen.. aha also auf Eis gelegen. Interessanter Fund, gute Zusammenstellung von Text und Bild. Schoene Schneelandschaft, prima Aufnahme.
Gruss Sky

Hi Peter,
An excellent shot on both accounts. It is amazing to me to find bees outside that would survive that cold. Great photos with a great story. Beautiful scenery!

Scrolling back a little, I found this gem! I didn't know they would even come out at that time. Maybe the hive was warmed by the sun. What is even sader is that here in Canada, beekeepers don't even try to winter them: they are killed after harvest, since winters are too cold and they get too sick to keep. Bees are imported start of the season from California.
Great split screen macro in stunning landscape.

Dear Peter,
Your wife is VERY brave! I pick up everything - but a resuscitated bee might have the wrong impression - and attack!! Though European bees are less poisonous than the African.

I had some time and was browsing through your beautiful portfolio, when I found this interesting image. I must admit, I always look for photos, which tell a story and do not often find one on present TrekNature. Therefore I like very much your collage.

Have you been back to this area, and is it still so pristine?

Are Nordic Tracks specially prepared? I notice the parallel lines and assume, they were created by a special snow-plough...

Positioning the track smack in the middle at 6 o'clock works very well, achieving a clean-cut, orderly photo, peaceful and relaxing. (Obviously you had a great time there.)

Your photographic technique is perfect, and it is a pleasure to view your work.

Last not least, the little (not) dead body of the bee - "abandoned in the centre of the foreground - is (as you intended) quite tragic.

A great Photo-Story.

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday. Everybody here is Soccer-World Cup crazy!!
Take care,
Warm Regards from South Africa

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