your 271 photo - bumblebee on an orange flower is spectacular. Ive also become very interested in pollinators, bees in particular, in the last 2 years. There is a lot of fuss about colony collapse in honey bees, but there are many hundreds of species of pollinators out there, and we need to ensure they also have ample habitat. Almost everything I plant these days other than veggies is a native pollinator attractant. Wish I could get good close ups like you. The camera I have make them hard to get, but I get lucky now and then. we get bumble bees with red patch on them.
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
posted 5 years ago
After 3 years, I'm adding a little more. These shots are taken with a cell phone.
Dale Hodgins wrote:1. This little bee (thank you Dave) could fit on the wing of a honey bee. I was able to hold my camera less than a foot away without spooking him. Even at this range the fly appeared small in the shot.
Luckily, the camera takes HD pictures that can be magnified hugely without going all pixeley( yes that's a word). It set me back $400 which was half of the original price.
There are several other colourful insects who were too fast for me. The camera has about a half second delay. Due to the size and speed of my quarry, most shots turn out fuzzy or the creature moves to the next flower while I fiddle with the camera. Sometimes it's right in front of me but I can't find and focus in time. Honey bees will spend several seconds in one spot while the bumble bees pictured here pop from flower to flower quickly and they roll around a dozen times all within a second or two.
This is a great showcase. A lot of pollinators. Is this going to be organized somehow?
I've got a collection of a couple hundred or so pictures that I'd like to see organized by eco-services or plant relationships instead of biological classification.
BTW: You don't need an expensive zoom, if you can find a decent magnifying glass to hold out in front of your lens.
The way I understand the pollination/beneficial situation for gardeners and farmers goes something like this:
Honeybees are efficient pollinators, but usually stick to one or two sources for a season. So they're good for monocultures and near trees and orchards.
Bumblebees are the best all-around pollinators because they have lots of hairs and are the sloppiest eaters. They have to visit a lot of flowers everyday. They have really long tongues to get into flute flowers. Like all 'wild' bees they like the edges.
Solitary bees like Masons, carders, diggers, furrow and leaf-cutter bees are great generalists, too. They live in walls, wood or the ground. Good for medium and large sized flowers but they can work the tiny flowers on any umbels that can hold them up.
There are lots of tiny parasitic wasps that need those umbels with the tiny flowers (like the parsley family). Some of these wasps lay eggs in pests like stinkbugs and caterpillars,
Cuckoo bees pollinate the small flowers but their larvae eat their host bee larvae.
Yellow and black wasps are general predators of bees, flies, spiders and bugs. Some are good, some aggressive. No hair, so they don't pollinate much.
The yellow and black striped, smooth-skinned flies (colored like wasps) are Hoverflies. The hairless adults eat nektar or pollen, but their larvae eat as many aphids, sometimes mosquito larvae in water, as voraciously as ladybugs.
Ladybugs and Lacewings are great for aphid control, both in adult and larvae stages. Neither really pollinate (no hairs).
Butterflies and moths are okay pollinators, but their babies can be voracious caterpillars. Not bad if you have birds or big wasps.
Dragonflies are tyrannosaurus of the sky. They can eat anything flying, and lots of them.
There are also types of parasitic fly that stick their eggs on bugs and beetles, which soon hatch and turn the pest into lunch, keeping their populations down. I don't think they're major pollinators, but beneficial.
And Ground Beetles are pretty hungry for slug eggs, fallen plantbug eggs, anything near the ground at night.
The big obstacle is their number and variety depending on where you live. Maybe one day.
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
posted 1 year ago
I have no plan to organize it beyond what you see. I don't know the names of most of these creatures. I'm just good at sneaking up on them.
I'm moving to a tropical environment, so there will probably be pictures of entirely different pollinators.
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