When a bee lies sleepin’…

10 07 2012

Sometimes when I photograph an insect and it’s not moving, I consider the possibility that said insect may have expired—which is sad but also the cycle of life. I must confess that it certainly makes them easier to photograph. This morning, the sky was overcast and all the insects at Green Spring Gardens (particularly the bumblebees) seemed to be slow to wake (much like this photographer). I shot about 20 frames of this bumblebee (Bombus) on a Hibiscus (Mallow) bloom, then the fly appeared as if to check to see if it was alive, too. At that very moment, I learned that bees do indeed dream (in case you were wondering). The bumblebee’s front legs started flinching, just like my cats legs do when they’re dreaming. Then it slowly awakened and began the day’s work. (And just what do bees dream about? Abundant pollen as far as their two compound and three primitive eyes can see?)

Barbra Streisand’s version of A Sleepin’ Bee came to mind when I saw this bee. She performed the song on The Jack Paar Show in 1961—her first appearance on American national TV. The popular song was composed by Harold Arlen with lyrics by Arlen and Truman Capote (who knew Capote wrote music?).

Cool fact I just learned: Although hummingbirds are often thought to have the highest metabolic rate of all animals, a bumblebee’s metabolic rate is 75% higher!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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2 responses

10 07 2012
Allen P.

Beautiful image. I’ve noticed quite a few bees that seem to have expired or just not moving as much this year. Usually, I see this happen in late August or maybe September. I thought maybe our heat wave was too much for them!

Great post—enjoyed your writing.

13 07 2012
cindydyer

Thanks for the comment, Allen! The bumblebees are everywhere in our area these days…I’ve seen less honeybees, though.

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