My Digital Photography of
Bumblebees and Carpenter Bees
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Bumblebees and carpenter bees are one of my favorite insects to photograph. Many people do not realize the difference between carpenter bees and bumblebees. It is easy to tell if you just look at their abdomens---the carpenter bee has a naked black abdomen and the bumblebee has strips of yellow fuzz. However, they are both especially difficult to photograph because they move from flower to flower so quickly. By the time I focus the lens and frame the image, the bee has moved on to the next flower. My favorites are the bees captured in mid-air.
Carpenter bee (2008)
Bumblebee in my backyard on August 12, 2016
The first bumblebee I've seen in my yard. I just happened to be looking out the doorwall when it landed on a leaf of my ash tree. The first two are non-macro. Since it was still sitting there after those photos, I went back in and assembled the macro equipment and took the others.
Bumblebees at Point Mouillee on July 26, 2014
I was so excited---I saw 3 bumblebees today!!! I haven't seen a bumblebee in 7 years. I thought they had become extinct in MI.
Bumblebee inside columbine flower 5-26-07
My backyard, August 15, 2013
Henry Ford Estate on July 14, 2009
August 8, 2008
This poor bee is almost dead in these photos. Darwin had just gone outside and didn't make it to the grass to urinate. Instead, he left a puddle on the driveway that this bee must have thought was water. I took it out and tried to revive it with regular water, but it was too late to be saved. I figured I couldn't let it die for nothing, so I took some photographs of it.
My parents' house, August 23, 2008
Carpenter bees gathering pollen and flying 8-4-08
Carpenter bees on butterfly bushes 9-4-06
Carpenter bees on butterfly bushes 8-25-06
Carpenter bee on trumpet-vine flower 8-11-06
Old Photos of Both Types of Bees
Mid-air Shots of Bumblebees and Carpenter Bees, Summer 2003
The first two shots are bumblebees and the others are carpenter bees.
Carpenter bees on flowering thistle, sunflowers, raspberries and butterfly bushes. Summer 2003
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