Category Archives: Bee

Ants and Bee

A short sequence of a presumably common garden event, but one I’ve not previously taken any notice of: ants finding and swarming on a dying (or dead) bee. When I took these thee ants had already moved the bee from the centre of the patio to a corner near the wall.

Ants swarming over a dead bee

Ants swarming over a dead bee

Ants swarming over a dead bee

Ants swarming over a dead bee

Ants swarming over a dead bee

Ants swarming over a dead bee

Quite a feast for them!

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100mm f/2.8L macro IS USM lens.

Also posted in Ants, Insects Tagged , |

Some Small Delights

This is a bit of a mixed bag of photos,some taken over the weekend at home, and others at Falmer. I’ll start in the garden with a photo of two bees enjoying some wild marjoram that has invaded our ‘lawn’ (it’s more of tiny meadow right now!).

Bees on wild marjoram

Bees on wild marjoram

Just alongside from there we have an old prefabricated pond. The newts like it, but it is being slightly overgrown by blackberry. The fruits are ripening and will serve birds or foxes well.

Ripening blackberries

Ripening blackberries

Now for the photos from Falmer. The first was unexpected, and was pointed out to me by a workman from the local farm. A kestrel had found a temporary perch at the rear of St Laurence Church.

Kestrel at St Laurence Church, Falmer

Kestrel at St Laurence Church, Falmer

The second is a bird I’ve been trying to photograph for a week or so, with little success. It’s a common sandpiper. They are highly prone to zip off into the distance, but this was just sufficiently in range and nicely perched on a floating branch in the middle of the pond.

Common sandpiper perched on a branch in Falmer Pond

Common sandpiper perched on a branch in Falmer Pond

There’s a treelined area (not quite a wood) along the southern fringe of the pond which provides a good habitat for the speckled wood butterfly. They enjoy the shade. This one is sharing a leaf with a greenbottle.

Speckled wood butterfly and greenbottle.

Speckled wood butterfly and greenbottle.

The last shot was taken over the fields at the western end of the pond. It’s not perfect, but capturing swallows in flight over uneven ground isn’t easy. Most of my efforts were badly out of focus, but this one just about works.

Swallow in flight over fields at Falmer

Swallow in flight over fields at Falmer

Camera note: all shots taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS Mark II lens.

Also posted in Birds, Butterfly, Insects, Plants, water birds Tagged , , , , |

A Greedy Bee and Some Frisky Butterflies

A lovely sunny afternoon emerged after a dull start to the day. Ideal for spending some time in the garden; and evidently ideal for the host of insects that came out to enjoy some time in the sun.

We’re fortunate to have plenty of bees in the garden. They have a particular taste for the hibiscus bush, so much so that it is a small wonder they can even fly.

Bee on hibiscus covered in pollen

Bee on hibiscus covered in pollen

Not all of them are quite so greedy. This bee was enjoying a taste of wild marjoram.

Bee on wild marjoram

All the time the gentle buzz of bees was punctuated by the percussive chatter of grasshoppers.

Common grasshopper

As for the butterflies, I saw painted ladies, small whites, a couple of red admirals, several blues (different species), a speckled wood and numerous amorous large whites.

Speckled Wood butterfly

Speckled Wood

These are the large whites. They were darting all over the garden whilst engaging in a courtship ritual where the female rests and the male dances around her. The female’s raised abdomen is actually a ‘rejection’ posture as it makes mating impossible. This is a common feature in butterfly behaviour, and she may well have already mated.

Pair of large white butterflies in mating dance.

Pair of large white butterflies in mating dance.

Pair of large white butterflies in mating dance.

Camera note: greedy bee taken with the Canon 7D and EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM; marjoram bee, grasshopper and speckled wood taken with the EF 100mm f/2.8L macro IS USM lens; and the mating large white butterflies with the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens.

Also posted in Behaviour, Butterfly, Insects