Thursday, July 14, 2011

Eastern Bumble Bee

Much like honey bees, I find that bumble bees can sometimes be difficult to photograph. Especially on warmer days, they often move quickly from flower to flower. Their large size and weight (for a bee) makes a lot of flowers bend or bounce, making focus difficult to obtain. Occasionally I do find a cooperative bumble bee, like this bee that was feeding on some large coneflowers.

I think this is probably a Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Bombus impatiens), the most abundant bumble bee in my part of the continent. The overall pattern seems to fit, and I do not see any markings that would indicate otherwise.

This bee stayed around the same group of coneflowers for several minutes and gave me close views of its face and back, including this brief view of its proboscis and tongue.

I think these flowers' large size helped make them more stable and easier to bring into focus. This bee must have found a good source of nectar since it seemed so intent on drinking that it barely noticed my presence.