Thursday, July 23, 2009


After a couple of years of bee stalking, I noticed a characteristic I thought was peculiar only in humans. A work ethic, or lack of, is apparently evident in nature's other creatures as well. While some bees flit from flower to flower, looking for all the world to be busy at work, they never seem to gather much pollen. Meanwhile, others spend more time on individual tasks, seemingly oblivious to what or who is around them while they pack on the honey dust. Some get so loaded up that you have to wonder how they get airborne to fly back to the hive, which might be a considerable distance from the work zone. It made me wonder if some bees have different jobs, such as scout or watchmen or some kind of markers. After checking it out, I am still left wondering if there isn't such a thing as simply lazy bees. Worker bees are always female and do all the gathering, pollinating and loading of nectar into the hive. Drones or male bees, have no other purpose than to mate with the queen in order to propagate the colony. Now if that doesn't sound like a cake job, I don't know what does. Guard bees are just that. They guard the hive against intruders. Every bee must come to the aid of the hive if called but the guards are the primary line of defense. Sniffer bees are like radar or sonar, in that they can smell out predators or bees from another colony. But out in the field, the difference in work habits is still a mystery to me. I'll keep watching and reading and maybe someday it will all become clear to me. In the meantime, I've got to go tape some grass to my head and get some pics.


mom said...

Lazy bitches!!

Lexey said...

That third picture is so pretty. I love that you're shooting them backlit sometimes. I like seeing the light come through their bellies.