Backyard Honeybees


I was planning on walking today and taking my camera along with me to take some photos of some foliage; flowers, bushes, trees, and perhaps even some animal or insect life, like birds or bees. Don’t worry, I am not going to launch into a story of the birds and the bees. Well, maybe I will, who knows? 

As I was walking through the house on the way to go out for a walk, I noticed movement among the flowers of our neighbor’s bush that was encroaching into our backyard over the cinderblock fence. Bees! It was honeybees, hundreds if not thousands of them! I like bees. This was not always the case. I used to be terrified of them and their stings.

Here is some “bee” roll. (If you know, you know.)

When I was young, perhaps, nine or ten years old, back when we were allowed to leave the house to play and were told to come back before dinner. I explored the entire town of San Pedro where I grew up, sometimes walking miles from my house with some friends. One day we found a burned-out home that seemed abandoned. Of course, that was way too much of a temptation for kids our age, so we hopped the fence to check out the large backyard. What we found was magical! Horses, chickens, and other barnyard-type animals. As a side note, I tried to ride one of the horses, but it was way too smart for me. I got up on it, bare-back, and it slowly walked toward a tree with a branch hanging just about as high as his back knocking me to the ground! I didn’t get hurt, the horse had no intention of doing so, but he just didn’t want to give me or anyone a ride. 

That was a learning experience! So was the next thing that left me scarred and scared for a long time of the Apis mellifera Linnaeus. There were these strange white boxes in the middle of the yard. Once again, we had to investigate. I lifted the lid and to my surprise, and theirs, hundreds of Apis mellifera Linnaeus (honeybees) came flying out as if their slumber had been disturbed. I took off running one way, my friend, the other, but it didn’t matter, we both we stung over and over again by those poor disturbed bees! From that day until we moved to Arkansas, I was terrified of bees of all kinds.

Then, one day while helping a friend fix the pool in his backyard, I noticed a wasp flying around and wanting to flail and run. But he told me to calm down and relax and see what happened. When I did, even the wasp wouldn’t attack me. It just flew around and then went away. I wouldn’t recommend disturbing wasps because they can get pretty perturbed. That day changed my life when it came to bees. Especially the honeybee. They are such good neighbors and so important to the ecosystem. Here is an article about bees from National Geographic.

Click here.

I learned that if you leave them alone, they will leave you alone. As a photographer (need a better lens, the only macro I have involves me getting about 2 inches from the bees, which is getting in their space, being threatening, and almost guarantees a sting), anyway, back to what I was saying… As a photographer, I get pretty close, within feet, of the bees. They are usually too busy collecting pollen to bother me. Sometimes one of the workers will come over to where I am to check me out and see what I am doing. I don’t make any sudden moves. They fly around, then go back to work and I may get to step a little closer without upsetting them.

Honeybees are extremely important. Next time they are near you, don’t flail about or try to run. Stand still for a moment, slowly turn, and walk away. This won’t guarantee you won’t be stung, but in my experience, it lowers the likelihood.

Hope you enjoy the photos.

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