Friday, February 12, 2016

I have a swarm trap full of bees!!!

This is a 6 frame swarm trap which I left alone with a swarm in it to see if it would over winter. It was nearing fall & I didn't want them to have to rebuild comb, so I left them alone as an experiment. It was time to change the camera cards in a couple of game cams & I thought I would justify the FLIR ONE purchase & use it to check out the trap.

Much to my surprise it is full of bees! The display has a range of color combinations I can use. This one shows the entire box hot with the main cluster on the right 1/2 which is normal, as that is where the entrance is. They were flying in & out.

Left side

 Right side

 Bottom view

The Willys MB

It seems I have more hives that I thought I had.

FLIR ONE Hive check

The FLIR ONE is a small infrared camera that plugs into a smart phone. 
It can't be beat for checking hives in the winter when you don't want to open them.

As usual, click one to enlarge,

Some of the hives 

Looks like the feral hive in the wall upstairs is also doing well! 
(to the right of the window)

The top bar swarm that moved in.

Useful for finding anything putting out heat. It can even register the output of a single insect.
A honey bee entering the top bar hive.
(the little white spec)

This is an alder bug on the window

Monday, February 8, 2016

Bees mating and snow drops

Spring is early!
Bees are all over the snow drops. I had to lay down for these shots.Please enlarge them for a better look at the bees.

Honey Bees (Apini) » Apis » Western Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)

 Mining Bees (Andrenidae) » Mining Bees (Andreninae) » Andrena

Sweat Bees (Halictidae) » Halictinae » Halictini » Sphecodes
Cuckoo bees mating

A goodbye kiss?

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Yet another elk photo

They spent the day napping on the hill above the barn. Saw them when we got up, and they were still there at 5 pm.
Panorama of two shots spliced together.

We admired them as we ate an early dinner of back-strap (elk) smothered in shiitake mushrooms with onions and garlic.  They show up a little better clicked on & enlarged.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


Attracted to the sap dripping from holes caused by a sapsucker on the maple tree.
Click on one to get up close and personal.

This fly's head is pretty cool when enlarged.

A shy honey bee. Hard to get a shot of them on these snow drops. They burrow right up into them.

another species.

A close look at a small dung fly. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hives doing well!

Looks like all 8 made it through a very mild although very wet winter. So far. All are very busy today and bringing in pollen.  Here's two of them:

.I decided to get a close-up of the newts mating in the second pond (yes, it's an early spring) and while they stayed too far away, Of course these guys were right below the house and I didn't have a long lens with me.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Spring is here?

1/25/16 and it's spring? We have a day with sunshine and 55* I even saw the newts in a ball mating in one of the ponds. Too far for a photo though.
First test of the 200mm macro lens on something alive outside.
All the bees are flying. Click to enlarge as usual.

Tiny sweat bee?

Hover fly