Photography, Cycling and the Internets

Bee Cluster

Honeybee Cluster

I didn’t go out shooting today with any intent to photograph more bees.  However, this, I could not pass up.  While walking through an old orchard,  I noticed a large something hanging from a tree. Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be hundreds of bees. Perhaps a thousand or more? I probably got about 10 or 15 feet away to take this shot (and a few others). I was a bit nervous to get much closer. At first I thought this was a hive, but when I returned later in the day to get more shots, all of the bees were gone. In reading on this, it looks like the hive had split and this group was looking for a new home.

The close-up detail (while not super-sharp) gives a good perspective on just how crazy the cluster was.

This shot is a single-shot HDR to bring out the details in the cluster. This was taken around noon so the lighting was horrible.

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6 responses

  1. That is crazy! I would NOT have gone anywhere near this thing!

    April 18, 2010 at 3:02 am

    • Yeah, it was perhaps a moment of insanity on my part, but I thought it was too cool to stay away!

      April 18, 2010 at 5:03 pm

  2. Damn, Sean!! That is insane! Looks like the ‘bee beard’ minus the crazy dude wearing it!

    April 18, 2010 at 7:12 am

    • At 100%, it freaks people out. If I had your lens(s) I may have spent more time with it, since i could have been 30 or more feet away and still had a good shot. But, I figured once I had 10 or so frames, it was time to go.

      April 18, 2010 at 5:05 pm

  3. Shannon Biggert

    How cool! It is called a swarm. They do that when there is more than one queen in the hive. They feed on lots of honey and a group leaves with one of the queens. She is in the center and they are keeping her safe and warm. If they are honey bees you can get very close as long as you don’t move fast. They are not agressive. It will smell like honey up close. You are exactly right….when they swarm they are looking for another home and must find one soon. Great photo. S

    April 18, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    • Shannon,

      Thanks for the additional information, comment and for stopping by! It is good to know that they are non-aggressive. I never smelled honey, that would have been cool.

      April 18, 2010 at 7:20 pm

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