Field Notes: Honey Bees

Gerry at Global Swarming has some wonderful shots of honey bees working the red-gold pussy willow (Salix gracilistyla) at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. I spent some time there on Saturday. (My camera battery passed away before I got any “action” shots.) This species of pussy willow, native to Japan & Korea, was one of the few things in bloom.
I find it very meditative to watch honey bees working. Often, during a lazy, hot, August afternoon, the buzz is hypnotic. BTW, you have nothing to fear from honey bees unless you go blundering into a hive, so you can stand up-close-and-personal to them as they slurp up nectar and collect pollen.

I watched as the bees, yellow-flecked with pollen, hung down by one forefoot and cleaned themselves, working the rest of their legs as they brushed the pollen off, packing it around their pollen baskets on their hind legs. Of all the times I’ve observed bees at work, I’d never seen this before. Bionic eyes would have been handy, not to mention slow-mo, but these weren’t necessary.

1 Response to “Field Notes: Honey Bees”

  1. 1 Danny July 12, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    You think it’s cool to watch them in action in the field? You should see into a hive sometime! It’s awesome, Hundreds of thousands of bees all working towards one goal. Some of them dancing to communicate, others feeding larvae, and the last just beating their wings. It’s awesome! I may not be a great photographer, but I do have a beehive. If you want to see more of them, just head on over to my blog:

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