Getting up close and personal with the bees

So, we are in the middle of a drought. It's a pretty wet drought. In fact, the wettest drought I think I've ever experienced. Although this weather may be great for ducks, who don't mind getting soggy, it's not so great for humans and especially bees, who cannot fly out from the hive to forage.

I was meant to install my new Omlet beehive in my friend Sarah's garden in Leamington Spa on Sunday but the incessant rain prevented me. Well, I guess we could have trudged around in our waterproofs and wellies in the mud but instead we remained dry indoors scowling out at the weather. So, I have postponed the big 'give my beehive a home' day until Saturday. My fellow beekeeper and friend, Nicola, who is in her third season of beekeeping, is going to come over and help me choose the perfect spot. Then on Monday morning bright and early I'm going over to a local beekeeper in Southam to collect my nucleus of bees and take them to their bee towers. Exciting.

However, this past Monday, when I was feeling particularly down in the dumps about the weather my colleague Martyn Day sent me the photos below, which he had taken over the weekend (the sun must have been shining in Oxford or at least the rain stopped briefly). The detail of the shots are just incredible. They were taken with his Nikon D7000 DSLR camera with a ring flash and special lense from Micro-Tech-Lab that turns a camera into a microscope. I’m not asking any questions as to why a design technology journalist would have a need for such a tool but it seems to keep him out of mischief. What makes me smile though is the mental image I have of him crouching near the bush in his garden, lying in wait for a bee to settle on a flower and then jumping out to photograph it with the camera in one hand and the ring flash in the other. Thank goodness bees are just happy foraging and not too perturbed by a snapping camera lense in their face. 

Bee-autiful pics (sorry, can't help myself). Thanks Mart!


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