When it comes to being outside and photographing elements of nature, I always gravitate to my two favourite subjects: flowers and bees. How lucky for me these two go hand in hand!
Over the years, I have discovered a few simple truths when it comes to photographing bees
1. Most importantly, bees cannot bother you. My husband, for example, would never be able to photograph bees. Now there are a lot of things in this great world that cause my heart to race due to fear and apprehension, but bees are not one of them. I’ve always found bees fascinating; perhaps it has something to do with the fact that my grandfather was a bee keeper. They are so purposeful in their actions and if you don’t get in the way of them completing their job they really don’t bother you.
2. You need to be willing to get up close and personal with bees. Without point number one, this just isn’t possible. In getting close, you will need to crouch, bend or squat over flowers. Upper leg strength is helpful here as they are just such intriguing little specimens that you can’t help but lose track of time. I can’t do a wall sit for any length of time at all, but when it comes to photographing bees, I can squat and ignore the burning in my legs for a surprisingly long time!
3. Patience is more than a virtue, it is imperative when photographing bees. You can’t be in a rush. Bees operate on their own time poking their little proboscises into, what seems like, flowers at random. Sometimes they stay for awhile, and others they dart quickly onto the next. Just when you think you have the perfect shot, they fly off and all you are left with is the blur of their wings.
4. Be prepared for muddy shoes and scraped knees. Once you have discovered a little bee in search of sweet nectar, you must be willing to follow it. Bees, when finished with one flower will zig zag their way onto the next and you need to be in a position to follow. One fine summer day, I followed a little bumble bee through a huckleberry patch. By the time I was satisfied with my images I had scrapes from my ankles to knees!
My images below are of a little bee sipping from our lilac bush, one sunny evening this past week.