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Old May 7, 2009, 8:10 PM   #1
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Default Digger Bees!!! Figured out how to shoot 'em

Hi All,

. . . Now I need to get better at shooting macros. . .

These guys are solitary bees, living alone underground. All of them are reproductive -- unlike the hive bees where the only one that can reproduce is the Queen. I've been told that those leaving their burrows could be either sex, but the only ones you'd see entering a hole would be a female, as they dig multiple dead end branches underground where they lay one egg each.

I had to watch the area for quite a while before I learned enough to be able to get some pics -- trying to shoot tiny bees in flight was not an option ( these guys are about the size of houseflies -- and fast). I walked along an edge of the area where they were, and looked at all the potential holes. I noticed that in a few, there was an apparent obstruction to the opening. Taking a closer look, I could see that there was a bee looking out -- and if I made a move to get closer, it disappeared down the hole. If I waited a few minutes, it would slowly reappear at the opening, and would wait before very slowly emerging. Once her wings cleared the hole, she would immediately take off and disappear. After some time, she returned, flew around the area of her burrow, then quickly landed at the entrance and disappeared down the hole. After a few more minutes, she'd re-emerge and repeat the whole cycle.

I used the K20, D FA 100/2.8 macro, and the 1.7x AFA to get a bit more working distance. There was intermittant sunshine, so I could get 1/200 sec with f10 and ISO 640. I handheld these, but I'm pretty sure that I can get some better images with my Uni Loc now that I have some idea of what I'm doing. . .

Scott

BTW, I'm liking this new forum software -- you can upload more than one pic to a post! -- but no more than 4 smileys!
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Last edited by snostorm; May 7, 2009 at 8:15 PM. Reason: correct text
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Old May 7, 2009, 8:16 PM   #2
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Okay -- so it places multiple pics side by side, making the post hard to read without scrolling sideways -- back to the drawing board. . . sorry! I'll leave it as originally posted to illustrate, but in the future, I'll use replies to post multiples if I don't upload them to Flickr.

Scott

Last edited by snostorm; May 7, 2009 at 8:19 PM. Reason: added text
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Old May 7, 2009, 8:39 PM   #3
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Great pictures but not a great fan of the subject! Nice detail..can actually see the individual hairs!
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Old May 7, 2009, 8:42 PM   #4
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Scott,

Very nice hand held macro. Be careful, the sting of a ground bee is quite uncomfortable. I speak from experience!
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Old May 7, 2009, 11:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jelpee View Post
Great pictures but not a great fan of the subject! Nice detail..can actually see the individual hairs!
Hi jelpee,

Thanks!

I'm not a real bee fan myself, tho the only time I've been stung was about 40 yrs ago, riding a motorcycle at @ 70 mph, and somehow a bee got caught between my sunglasses and my face -- I never did find that pair of Ray Ban Aviators. . .


Quote:
Originally Posted by Keltech View Post
Very nice hand held macro. Be careful, the sting of a ground bee is quite uncomfortable. I speak from experience!
Hi Lou,

Thanks!

Now you tell me. . . OK. . . I'm officially freaked out. . .

Scott
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Old May 7, 2009, 11:24 PM   #6
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Well done, very good macros, especially hand held.
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Old May 8, 2009, 12:15 AM   #7
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Looks like the side by side problem has been corrected - your two pictures now show one below the other for me. I'll have to try uploading here one of these days.

And I love the pictures - you've given me another reason to be looking for a TC at some point.
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Old May 8, 2009, 1:35 AM   #8
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Very nice job. I didn't realize that about ground bees, Keltech. The things you learn on this forum.
Patty
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Old May 8, 2009, 2:58 AM   #9
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Scott, great looking macro's and a great find, never had seen one of them emerging from the ground.
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Old May 8, 2009, 7:15 AM   #10
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Great detail in some fine photos! And yes, their stings are indeed rather painful - a few got me just last week when I was working on trails, and looking up, not down.
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