Bees on honge flowers – 2017

I did this last year around the same time. But there can never be enough of a thing of beauty.

It’s the start of summer again, and the honge (Pongamia) tree in front of the house is in bloom. It will be so for a couple of weeks more and will throw out a carpet of flowers on the street and on the car. Given that all the streets in my area are lined with these trees, it is a continuous carpet all around.

As every year, these flowers attract bees. There are 2 kinds of them, smaller and larger. The smaller ones are Apis cerana(Asiatic honey bee) and the larger are Apis dorsata(giant honey bee). I like the flowers with the red holders and the white petals, looking like bells. The bees attach their tongues to the base of the flowers where the petals start and suck from there. It is almost like watching a syringe go in and come out.

Unlike last time, I kept the aperture at 8.0. What was happening with a lower aperture number was that some parts of the insect would go out of focus. An aperture of 8.0 and even 11.0 brings a bit more into sharpness.

Asiatic Honey Bee:
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Bees on Pongamia – 2016

Well, I had to add the year as I already did one last year. This year, again I shot some of them. I did one run last week, but that was a total dud. There were 85 shots taken, barely half a dozen were decent. The camera aperture number was higher which meant I lost a lot to focusing. Today, there were a lot more flowers, and the lighting was good as I tried before 9 AM. And the aperture was at the lowest possible on the lens, at 5.6. I used macro on the lens which helped get focus this close. I shot 15-20, almost all of them were good.

I also shot 2 videos on the phone. They were that close.

The photos:
On this the bee leans on a leaf as it injects its syringe-like proboscis into the stem of the flower.

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