Our garden beehives have been growing quickly. The afternoon’s orientation flights- where young bees try out their wings and learn to recognize landmarks around the hive- were especially busy so I pulled out my video gear:
What am I doing this summer?
Good question. I’m teaching Integrative Biology 496: Introduction to Beekeeping.
If you are a University of Illinois student and would like to learn about the biology of Apis mellifera and how to manage a small apiary for honey or just for fun, please consider this 8-week class. Enrollment is capped at 22 in order to maintain a reasonable student to hive ratio.
The class website is here.
Photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 20D.
ISO 100, f/13, 1/250 sec, twin flash diffused through tracing paper
Seriously, is there a name for the disorder whereby people think everything with wings is a honeybee?
This photo was ultimately rejected for a journal cover (it was the wrong shape!) but I shot it to accompany a research article that used museum specimens of midwestern bumblebees to compare current levels of genetic diversity with previous decades. Since this image won’t appear in print anytime soon, I thought I’d share it here instead.
photo details: Canon 35mm f2.0 prime lens on a Canon EOS 20D
ISO 200, 1/125 sec, f/5, indirect strobe
…on what we in Entomology here at Urbana-Champaign are up to.
From David Attenborough’s brilliant Life in the Undergrowth:
Incidentally, Ed Yong’s interview with Sir David is worth reading.
30 years ago, biologists thought they’d solved one of Darwin’s thorniest problems, the evolution of sterile social insects:
Spring is swarm season for honeybees, and the feral population in Tucson is booming. We’ve got not one but two new colonies nesting in dead trees in our yard. I didn’t do anything to attract them, they just moved in on their own.
My feelings about honey bees are mixed. Continue reading →
details: Canon 100mm macro lens on a Canon 20D
bees on plain white paper
f/14, 1/250 sec, ISO 100
Canon 550EX speedlite flash, bounced off white paper
levels adjusted in Photoshop