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Posts Tagged ‘pollen’

How much pollen can a bee transport at one time? As it circled the inside of a sunflower, this bee filled the pollen baskets on its hind legs with so much bright yellow pollen that I was afraid it would not be able to lift off and fly away. In addition to the very full pollen baskets, which looked like cotton candy to me, the bee was virtually covered with grains of pollen. My fears proved to be unfounded, and the overladen bee was able to carry away its golden treasure.

I think this bee is a bumblebee, though I am no expert on the subject of bees. According to Wikipedia, certain species of bees, including bumblebees and honeybees, have pollen baskets (also known as corbiculae) that are used to harvest pollen. Other bee species have scopae (Latin for “brooms”), which are usually just a mass of hair on the hind legs that are used to transport pollen.

bee pollen

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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During these last few days of summer, the bees seem especially busy. I love the sight of bees covered in pollen, especially unusual ones like this striped bee (I think it is a bee, but would welcome corrections to my identification).

bee_summer_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I usually think of pollen as being bright yellow, but this past weekend I observed a small multi-colored bee covered in white pollen from what appears to be a chicory flower. Who knew that pollen could have different colors?

multi-colored bee

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Some bees seem to be really tidy when they are gathering pollen, but this bee was a total mess, with pollen sticking all over its legs and underside. The bee looks to be some kind of honey bee, although the striped markings on its lower body seem a little unusual.

Often when I am shooting a macro shot, I am so worried about the technical aspects of the shot that I forget that photography is also an art. This image helps remind me that photography remains a creative pursuit, a fusion of art and science.

pollen_1a_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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