collage of bees and flowers

The Bee and The Flower

I have an irrational fear of bees. I’ve had it my whole life. Anna Chlumsky’s acting in My Girl and is partially to blame, but that might be me trying to apply logic to the illogical. Somehow though, I have a very rational love for taking photographs of bees on flowers, especially when I have my 100mm f/2.8 macro lens in between me and the bee.

A bee upside down eating nector from a white flower

My macro lens was my first lens besides the kit lens. I’ve now had it for over a decade. I use it for portraits, street, landscape, whatever I can. It’s not a conventional walkabout lens, but sometimes it’s nice to ignore the conventional. Even though I’ve switched from an EF to an RF mount, I still have my 100mm attached more than any other lens.

A bee on a green leaf

100mm is a lot narrower of a view than we normally see things. It means I can really see the black and the yellow of the bee. Yellows blend in with the pollen providing a natural camouflage.

a bee hidden inside the yellow center of a red and yellow flower

The buzzing takes away from the camouflage and to me is fear inducing. Quietly building up until you think it is in your ear. bzzz bzzz bzzz BZZZZ. I’ve been stung four times, but I think two of them were wasps. The first time I was stung was walking barefoot through some grass. There weren’t any flowers, but I still should have watched my step. The bottom of my foot bulged up for days, a reminder of the buzzing beast of terror only centimeters long.

a bee on the edge of the pollen of red and yellow flower

The next time I felt something nip me in the back. And then again. And Again. Inside my shirt, the yellow-chested creature was painfully creating red bumps on my back. The thoughtful swing of a book knocked my would-be assassin to the ground. The third time was like the first, throwing frisbee on the river with my friends. I now wear shoes in the grass.

a bee on a leaf

The most recent terror occurred as I sat making BBQ with my friends. My leg; an inviting target of destruction. It expanded over the following days. Red; Warm; Swollen. I really never want this to happen again.

The majority of bees aren’t out to kill me. Deep breath. Shoot the shot, my camera will protect me.