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Category Archives: Honey Bee

I managed to photograph some Honey Bees on a morning with a heavy dew. They were essentially captive subjects early in the morning. As the morning progressed the dew droplets dissapeared but the bees were still wet as they started moving around.

 

Every year the last flower blooming in my prairie is the New England Aster. I’m not sure where they came from but about five years ago I started seeing them in the prairie. I mow the prairie every fall so they are spreading. Generally the asters in the area bloom earlier but I live on a hill and have heavy soil so mine bloom late. Since it is the only flower blooming it is visited by butterflies and bees on a regular basis.

Yesterday there was a Monarch Butterfly feeding. It better get moving south because today is snowing out. There were also a few Painted Ladies hanging around.

The thing I look forward to this time of year is photographing the Honey Bees. With the cold nights the bees overnight on the asters. In the morning they are hardly moving so it is easy to photograph them. One morning they were covered in frost.

Frost Covered Honey Bee

 

If you have been on the Red Cedar Trail recently you will have noticed that the Touch-me-nots are blooming all along the trail. The Spotted-touch-me-nots are the most common.

There are also a few Pale Touch-me-nots blooming.

The last flower to bloom in the fall is the New England Asters. It is often possible to find bees clinging to the asters on a cold fall morning.

bumble-bee-16-10-0098

bumble-bee-16-10-0059

new-england-aster-16-10-0029

 

Walking around my Prairie the last few weeks turned up a number of different insects.

Honey Bee

Honey Bee

Grasshopper

Grasshopper

Milkweed Bug

Milkweed Bug

Monarch Caterpillar and Milkweed Beetle

Monarch Caterpillar and Milkweed Beetle

 

I’ve been photographing some of the insects that have been making use of a large patch of Black-eyed Susans that are growing in the front yard.

Orange-belted Bumble Bee

Orange-belted Bumble Bee

Two-Striped Grasshopper

Two-Striped Grasshopper

Northern Crescent

Northern Crescent

Honey Bee

Honey Bee

Flower Fly

Flower Fly

Bee Wolfe

Bee Wolfe

On several walks along the Red Cedar Trail I’ve been able to photograph a number of insects.

Japanese Beetle

Japanese Beetle

Honey Bee

Honey Bee

Flower Fly

Flower Fly

Generally I don’t like goldenrod growing in my prairie area. I view it as a weed and invasive species. However, it does provide substance to a wide variety of insects. Since there hasn’t been much else to photograph lately I’ve been out photographing insects on my Canada Goldenrod plants. This has been a little different year because there have been almost no butterflies. Generally the Monarch Butterflies stop during their fall migration but I didn’t see a single one this year.

Coral Hairstreak

Fly

Goldenrod Soldier Beetle

Honey Bee

Red Legged Grasshopper

 

 

 

Over the past several years I’ve been trying to grow milkweed on the farm. I started with a patch in the garden and now have three large patches of milkweed. The original intent was to provide food and lodging for Monarch Butterflies. Last year I had a bumper crop of Monarch Caterpillars in the various milkweed patches. This summer I’ve seen the results of my labor. Not only do I have Monarch Caterpillars but I have a great variety of butterflies using the blooming milkweed. In addition to the butterflies there are also Ruby-throated Hummingbirds frequenting the patches as well as a variety of bees.

Common Milkweed

I spent the better part of a morning in my patches photographing butterflies. As I formed the idea for this blog I thought I must have lots of photos of butterflies on my milkweed plants. Later in the day I searched my photos and much to my surprise I don’t have a single photo of a butterfly on a milkweed plant. Either I haven’t been out in the milkweed patches at the right time or this is truly an unusual year. Today I counted 10 different butterflies in my milkweed patch.¬†Here are just a few of the insects I found on my milkweed plants.

Monarch Caterpillar

Monarch Butterfly

Silver Spotted Skipper

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Honey Bee

Great Spangled Fritillary

Giant Swallowtail

We usually think of legumes as forage crops but they also make nice subjects for photography. In the Midwest they mainly consist of alfalfa, clover and vetch. What I like about photographing them is that they start blooming around the first of June and continue to bloom until killed by frost. This year they were blooming by the middle of May. All of the above mentioned legumes are blooming in my prairie area. In order to keep them blooming I mow them periodically so there are always some blooming and always some blooms for the butterflies and bees.

The great thing about alfalfa is that it comes in a wide variety of colors. Almost every plant offers a different opportunity for photography.

White Alfalfa

Alfalfa

Monarch Butterfly

Clover really lends itself to some great photography opportunities when there is a heavy dew.

Red Clover

Honey Bee

Tiger Moth Caterpillar

Vetch is a less common legume but it still provides a nice subject for photography.

Vetch

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