The Actual Bum of the Flightle Bee

View of a Bee Hind

View of a Bee Hind

When technology works, it can be really fun (also when it breaks down, that can be really fun too because you can take it apart). Three or so years ago, I bought a tablet computer on which to “do my writing”. The idea was simple (like me) – a nice portable device on which I could write using a stylus-type pen, a device I could train to ‘read’ my handwriting so that I could then convert my scribbling into digital form, ready for the creation of the next novel.

It didn’t work that way. The device I purchased, whilst being OK and having a detachable keyboard, didn’t have reliable handwriting recognition software for it (it had some, but no-one who used it thought it worth the money). So I used it, primarily, for games. Quite crummy games.

Last year, when I went back to Reading for a contract, I bought myself a new camera, a Ricoh WG30, which has wi-fi on it. Great I thought, I can transfer pictures easily to my laptop PC. Only that didn’t really work because Ricoh neglected to design the thing to be sensible (I’d put some technobabble in here to explain, but you’re probably already wondering what the hell this has to do with bees, so I won’t).

The other thing that the camera could do (allegedly) was be remotely controlled from your internet browser. Obviously, this didn’t mean the one actually already loaded on your tablet, but hey, that’s technology for you. I found a browser that DID work and now – well, now you see the point of this mini-rant.

She's got legs... and she knows how to use them

She’s got legs… and she knows how to use them

I have been able to set up the camera a centimetre (‘really close’ in proper distance units) from the flowering leek plants in the garden and then sit in the Limery with a cup of tea watching patiently. These pictures are my very first attempt (there are about a hundred others, all out of focus, with no bees or discernible image).

It's soooo furry!

It’s soooo furry!

The detail produced from such a small camera is astonishing. I was really surprised when I enlarged these pictures and could see the pollen and the hairs on the bees’ legs, and their ‘fur’ in general.

I also set it up to monitor the back of the garden bench as the birds like sitting there as they wait their turn at the feeders. Clearly this sparrow thought it would be funny to moon the camera. It was right.

A Sparrow gets in on the act

A Sparrow gets in on the act


Categories: bees, birds, camera, gardening | Tags: , , | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “The Actual Bum of the Flightle Bee

  1. I love these pictures, i often watch the bees frolicking in the heads of my poppies and get in really close, it is amazing. You can see quite a lot with the naked eye but every picture I have attempted just wasn’t in focus. I could never get close enough to get a good close inspection of a bird though! especially their bum!!!. Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so pleased you like these pictures – more will follow, I am positive! Being able to retire to a distance and not disturb the wildlife is quite a boon. The other thing is to focus on one thing and hope that a bee (or whatever) will stay long enough in the “zone of focus” to snap it. Digital photography is great – you can take a million pictures for the perfect one, and you can see if it’s perfect immediately. It may have a serious impact on my novel writing though!


  2. Technology not working is a sore subject still. I’m glad yours does though Jon as the photographs are fantastic. To see each hair on the bees back is amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Worth all the fiddle-faddle [as my dear old aunt used to say] for these amazing pics of the bum-blebees! Really great!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Squeee for bumble bee and bird booties! 😀 Please tell me you’re on Instagram…Instagram neeeeeds you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful pictures, that brought back the memory of one summer – many, many moons ago now – when I had the nerve to actually stroke (with the tip of a finger) a bee that landed on me, absolutely laden down with pollen – and it didn’t sting me 🙂
    Bees are such wonderful creatures, and it doesn’t surprise me that one of my favourite characters, Granny Weatherwax, had a real love for them, too 🙂

    It’s going to be interesting to see what you come up with next!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So glad you liked the pictures! I stroked a bee once, they are so soft and unless they feel you are endangering them they won’t use their lethal (to them) weapon.
      I’m going to see if I can photograph the other monsters and angels in the garden!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. “BLUSH!” I see that the sedentary life has gotten to you now Mr Snail and you have taken up photographically stalking the natives. Nice images by the way. Seems technology does have it’s uses other than squashing the raping rooster with the monitor that refused to work and that you fortuitously hurled over the deck in a fit of pique…

    Liked by 1 person

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