Friday, August 6, 2010

A Bee Fight and a Bee Killer

I went out to take a look at the garden yesterday. Still lots of bees doing their thing out there. I went back indoors to grab my camera and took these shots. Here, in this first photo of my cone flowers, a bee was busy working away on one of these flowers. Then along came a different kind of bee that started working on the same flower.

The first bee didn't like being ousted. It started assaulting the larger bee, dive bombing it repeatedly. The larger bee wasn't budging, though. It kept right on working away on the flower. Can you see both bees here?

I edited the photo to highlight both bees. If the one on the right didn't insist on hovering in place, and repeating the same dive-bombing flight pattern I wouldn't have been able to get this shot. Pretty good photo, huh? Catching a bee in flight with just a simple, basic camera. No special lenses or settings on these shots. And yes, apparently I am easily entertained - as evidenced by all the bee watching I've been doing lately.

I wanted to start pulling weeds in this area of the backyard, and remove the bulk of the overgrown basil the other day. But I didn't dare. One of the larger type of bees kept coming close to investigate me while I was snapping photos. I didn't dare get them all riled up. I would go out there later after sunset when the bees are gone, but the mosquitos have been fierce when it gets late into the evening. Not a problem, there are still plenty of weeds elsewhere in the yard to clear out. I'll wait with the basil area until later. I need a plan to get this part of the garden cleaned up. Maybe what I need is a bee suit? a smoker unit to calm the bees?

I noticed an unusual looking insect while I was out there. I first saw this one the day before. It was still hanging around today when I had my camera. I managed to get a few good shots of it. At first glance I wondered if it was some type of dragonfly. We get quite a few dragonflies in our garden. It went about landing on the flower heads similar to the way the bees were behaving. I thought it must feed off the flowers.

But no, next thing I knew, it grabbed a bee and started eating it. I got off a few shots with the camera. It moved on to another flowerhead, taking it's bee meal along with it. I followed it, trying to get more photos of it - such an odd, curious-looking insect. It didn't seem to like that I continued following it around, snapping photos. It eventually flew off, with it's bee meal, to evade me by hiding in a crevice.

In this close-up shot of the 'bee killer' I got a side shot. It tried to hide behind this grape leaf. As I kept shooting with the camera it continued to slip further and further behind the leaf till all I could see at one point was its feet holding on. By the way, the dark wing you see poking up belongs to the bee hidden behind the leaf.

I left all these images of the insects in larger .jpg formats. Therefore, if you really want to see a 'close-up' photo, click onto each image and you will see the image even larger.

I have one red Roma tomato right now. It is the only tomato in the garden that is red. I am leaving it in place just a little while longer. Perhaps I'll pick it in a few days. I enjoyed a tomato in my salad today - store bought. It was good, but fresh home-grown ones are always so yummy. I look forward to having some great meals.

The Tomato Jungle continues to flourish. Some of the heavy, fruit laden branches are now draped down over the sides of the box. Yep, lots of tomatoes to turn ripe soon. Yum!

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