Here’s a bit of irony… Australia has some of the deadliest spiders and snakes in the world, but our native bee? Stingless. They are so non-threatening and docile there are even a couple of schools with hives of native bees (Tetragonula Carbonaria) for the students to study. To be honest, there are a variety of native bees, and not all of them are stingless, but the one in my photo is the one found in the Northern Territory, and definitely stingless.
I have seen a few of them in my 30 years here, but never have I been fortunate enough to photograph one. They are TINY; about 4 or 5mm (1/4 inch). Since the rains a few weeks ago, we’ve had a burst of flowers on nearly every plant possible. Ask any of the hay fever sufferers in town!
Flowers bring bees and since I’m a big fan of honey and the little workers that make it, I like to try and photograph them. As many of you know, my only camera is my iPhone, and getting close enough to photograph bees with an iPhone is… um…stupid… or at least living on the edge. But this morning as the early light was hitting the eucalyptus orbifolia that is just coming into blossom, I grabbed the phone and headed up the driveway for some adventure.
As I was photographing the stunning flowers I realised the bees were just as busy as…well… bees; and were hardly noticing me. I got close… real close. When I saw the honeybee had company, and it was a native bee, I was so excited I had to remind myself to breathe. Who wouldn’t love a little critter than makes honey, helps pollinate everything, and won’t sting you if you cuddle it??
-Ardys (aka ‘intrepid bee photographer’)