The Public Life of Bees

This mass of bees had taken up residence on a shrub in front of our neighbor’s house this evening. And this man, who knows what to do, came to take them away, hopefully to place in his own bee hive.
Once the man had removed the big mass of them many started to immediately “huddle” again on that bush, so he gathered them again and put them in a container in his truck.
I’m very grateful for my zoom lens. Look at his back!
I was maybe 25-30 feet away…plenty close enough.
It’s amazing how they kept swarming.

I checked about a few minutes after he had left,
and found the bees still swarming at the base of the bush.
Just before I sat down at the computer here this evening, 
I took this image again, and noticed the swarm is much smaller.
(Learning to use a zoom lens is more challenging than I thought it would be. I decided to share these with you even though the focus is not what I wanted it to be – because I wanted to tell you this story visually.  I didn’t use a tripod because, quite frankly, the bees were not happy and I did not want to stick around.  I have also noticed that if I zoom to the full length of the lens I get this thing called chromatic aberration in my images…those magenta and greenish halos around parts of the image.  The lens is a Tamron AF 70-300mm.  Any tips on how to use it successfully will be greatly appreciated!)

14 Replies to “The Public Life of Bees”

  1. I guess we can always learn from nature. They just wouldn't give up. Even against the odds.

  2. WOW you are brave, I wouldn't want to be anywhere near these. What a great job you did on zooming in for these awesome shots though!! Hope they stay gone now.

    Love the pretty flowers in your header now.

  3. Um Wow. There's a job I'd never want to have. Once a bee guy came to my house to remove a hive-I could see he was totally into it. Crazy.
    You were brave to be outdoors AT ALL.
    As for the zoom….I borrowed one (a kit one) from a friend last year. I think at the end of it's reach it is less effective-there is likely a sweeter spot. I enjoyed having it and thought I'd miss it when I returned it, but so far, I've been OK. I'm sure your experiments will help you figure it out. Keep me posted.

  4. I enjoyed this interesting series of photos, Deb. I believe swarming bees actually are not particularly dangerous. They are totally focused on finding a place to start a new hive. We once had a swarm under the awning of a shop where I worked. We called someone to come and take them away (he was thrilled to get them) but meanwhile, customers came and went and the bees simply ignored them.

    1. Thanks for sharing that! I do know that as we watched this man remove the bees none of us were 'attacked' or stung. When I went out to get the last photo a couple of them buzzed around me but that was all. They are fascinating to watch.

  5. Wow! what an amazing sight! Thank you for sharing them. I'm afraid I have no advice to give about the zoom as I don't have one, but I'm very interested to find out how you get on with it as you keep experimenting as I do have one on my wish list.

    1. Becs,
      As for the lens, I'm learning that patience and practice are the two most important elements in adapting to a new lens. And patience is not one of my better virtues! I'll definitely keep you posted.

  6. What an amazing sight!! None of my pictures would have been as clear as yours, because my hands would have been shaking at the sight of all those bees!! I have a zoom lens and to be honest, I'm having no luck unless it's on the tripod which is so restricting! I also have those magenta ouliines when I use the full length of the lens. I just didn't know what they were called and how to avoid them! Let us know if you get any good tips!! Glad you shared these, they are fascinating pictures!

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