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Let Sleeping Bees Lie

Let Sleeping Bees Lie
Photo Information
Copyright: Mish PM (Finland_in_Eton) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 154 W: 23 N: 225] (876)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-06-04
Categories: Insects
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50
Exposure: f/3.6, 1/125 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-09-22 14:41
Viewed: 4431
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This is a Buff-Tailed bumblebee, or Large Earth Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris.

I selected this photo as it makes me laugh. The bee looks like it has crawled in for a snooze, pulling the cover down on itself. I had to crop this heavily, not only for composition but so the bee became the focal point. The original image was shot from about five or six feet away as the iris bed was in a boggy area at the edge of a stream and I was NOT about to wade in.

Some interesting facts from Wikipedia about Bumble Bees

The brightly-coloured pile of the bumble bee is a form of aposematic signal. Depending on the species and morph, these colours can range from entirely black, to bright yellow, red, orange, white, and pink. Thick pile can also act as insulation to keep the bee warm in cold weather. Further, when flying a bee builds up an electrostatic charge, and as flowers are usually well grounded, pollen is attracted to the bee's pile when it lands. When a pollen covered bee enters a flower, the charged pollen is preferentially attracted to the stigma because it is better grounded than the other parts of the flower.

Bumblebees are typically found in higher latitudes and/or high altitudes, though exceptions exist (there are a few lowland tropical species). A few species (Bombus polaris and B. arcticus) range into very cold climates where other bees might not be found. One reason for this is that bumblebees can regulate their body temperature, via solar radiation, internal mechanisms of "shivering" and radiative cooling from the abdomen (called heterothermy). Other bees have similar physiology, but it has been best studied in bumblebees.

Bumblebees generally visit flowers exhibiting the bee pollination syndrome. They can visit patches of flowers up to 1-2 kilometres from their colony. Bumblebees will also tend to visit the same patches of flowers every day, as long as nectar and pollen continue to be available.

Pollen is removed from flowers deliberately or incidentally by bumblebees. Incidental removal occurs when bumblebees come in contact with the anthers of a flower while collecting nectar. The bumblebee's body hairs receive a dusting of pollen from the anthers which is then groomed into the corbiculae ("pollen baskets"). Bumblebees are also capable of buzz pollination.

buzz pollination is a technique used by some bees to release pollen which is more or less firmly held by the anthers, which makes pollination more efficient. The anther of buzz pollinated species of plants is typically tubular, with only an opening at one end, and the pollen is inside - smooth-grained and firmly attached. With self fertile plants such as tomato, wind may be sufficient to shake loose the pollen through pores in the anther and accomplish pollination. Visits by bees may also shake loose some pollen. However, the most efficient pollination is accomplished by a few species who specialize in sonication or buzz pollination.

In order to release the pollen, bumblebees and some species of solitary bees are able to grab onto the flower and move their flight muscles rapidly, causing the flower and anthers to vibrate, dislodging pollen. This resonant vibration is called buzz pollination. The honeybee rarely performs buzz pollination. About 8% of the flowers of the world are primarily pollinated using buzz pollination.

Once a bumblebee has visited a flower, it leaves a scent mark on the flower. This scent mark deters visitation of the flower by other bumblebees until the scent degrades.

One common, yet incorrect, assumption is that the buzzing sound of bees is caused by the beating of their wings. The sound is the result of the bee vibrating its flight muscles, and this can be done while the muscles are decoupled from the wings, a feature known in bees but not possessed by other insects. This is especially pronounced in bumblebees, as they must warm up their bodies considerably to get airborne at low ambient temperatures. This is how bumblebees can sometimes reach an internal thoracic temperature of 30 degrees Celsius.

Alex99, PaulH, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To gannu: Hi gannu,Finland_in_Eton 1 09-26 04:10
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • carmia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 231 W: 4 N: 144] (2240)
  • [2007-09-22 15:28]

Good macro,splendid colours and light.Thanks for sharing . Carme.

very nice macro , nice color

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-09-23 1:01]

Hi Mish.
You have found an amazing subject for shooting. The plant is wonderful, pose of the bee is great as well as the sharpness and details of the insect. Colour palette (combination of yellow and green color tones) is sweet. Composition is elegant at highest range. Bravo and best wishes.

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2007-09-23 9:01]
  • [+]

Mish, excellent color and lovely lighting. The PoV is fine and also the caption. I just wonder how you manage to get such locations. Ganesh

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2007-09-25 3:22]

Hi Bev,
you big chicken, you should've waded in ;o) i can see why you shared this though, it's got some beautiful colour as well as an amusing content. well seen and a good job on the cropping.

Hi Mish,
What a neat shot! Don't think I've ever seen a sleeping bee..:o) He sure is wedged in there! Must be some great pollen to grab..great catch! TFS

hello Mish

what a funny photo, i like the colors on 3 steps of the image,
color step 1 the bee, color step 2 the flower
and color step 3 the background, i like the framing too



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