Sunday, June 11, 2017

Bees in the Peonies

Our peonies are in bloom, all the white ones now, a few pink ones to follow.  They're all single peonies, which is important, because that attracts the bees.  And the bees are all over our peonies these days!  Getting photos of them is another story though!

Single peonies have a number of large petals around the edge, and a big patch of stamens that the bees visit in the middle.  Double peonies have so many extra petals that you can't usually see the stamens.  They look frilly but they don't serve the bees.  There were 3 and 4 bees at once on some of these blooms.

It's fascinating to watch the bees continually move from flower to flower, and crawl around among the stamens gathering pollen.  You can see the bright yellow 'saddlebags' of pollen on each of these bees.

Photographs are another story.  The bees never stop moving, flying, crawling, upside down half the time.  They collect the pollen in passing by, not by sitting still, even for a tenth of a second!  I took over 100 pictures, and these are the best, but even these are not perfectly clear.  A lot were very blurry!  I'm not going to capture a bee, put it in the fridge for awhile, and place the slow moving creature on a flower to get a perfect picture!  I prefer my pictures 'en plein air' as Monet said in respect to painting!

But perfectly clear or not, they are amazing little insects!

This bee was a little unlucky.  Mrs. Furry Gnome usually spots the most interesting things, and today she got me to come and see this spider which had captured a bee.  I got one picture, and when I returned later, it had retired back under the petals to a hidden corner with its dinner.

I find this is a Goldenrod Crab Spider when I goggle it, known for sitting on flowers and grabbing insects, especially bees, that land close by.  They give it a bite that paralyzes the bee, then they can take their time.  They don't build webs.

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17 comments:

  1. Looks like you got a few good bee shots.

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  2. That last photo is great! Love peonies too. Ours are always three weeks behind yours.

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  3. HI Furry...
    Lots of interesting facts!
    My Peonies are all the other kind... Not the Bee attracting kind...๐Ÿ˜•
    The heat and humidity make it up there? Very sudden,eh?
    Enjoy your week...
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  4. I think these are fantastic pics...WTG, Mrs. Furry Gnome on spotting interesting stuff for us to see!

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  5. You have a nice crop of peonies and show off your bees. Ants completely cover my peonies. It's not nice to get close to them.

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  6. Hello, love the pretty peonies! Great captures of the bees. Happy Monday, enjoy your day and new week!

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  7. Great pictures, I've tried to capture close ups of our bumble bees but not too good at it. Our peonies are not out yet and also not the single variety. Those white ones are beautiful! Don't like spiders so didn't focus on the last pictures. :S

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  8. Amazing photos of the bees and especially the one captured by the spider.

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  9. I love your pretty peonies, and I think you've done incredibly well capturing those bees in pictures. That last one was captured in another sense altogether. Great shots! Thanks for sharing. :-)

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  10. Wow they are great pictures and the peonies are beautiful.

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  11. Phantastic photos of the flower and the bees!

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  12. Phantastic photos of the flower and the bees!

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  13. Uh Oh---poor little bee... It was busy enjoying some dinner until the spider came along and spoiled its fun!!!!! Darn!!!!

    Great group of photos.. Love the peonies. The colors together in the top picture or so makes them look like a nice big fried egg--sunny side UP!!!! ha

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  14. Beautiful flowers, beautiful photos! Yes, it's sad to see the spider kill the bee, but as they say, "all God's chillun gotta eat!" Those Goldenrod Crab Spiders are fascinating creatures. They can change their color from white to yellow to match the flower they are lurking in.

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  15. Such pretty photos! We have that white spider here too:)

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  16. I like the bee photos and well know how hard it is to get a crystal clear bee shot as well. Most of mine are a tad on the blurry side as well. I've never seen a Goldenrod Crab Spider. Maybe I should start looking at things closer.

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