Sunday, June 30, 2013

Survivor bee

In Crescent Beach, this week, the wildflowers are showing off. Not least, the bindweed; this year its flowers are bigger than I've seen them for a long time. And the winged hordes are stuffing themselves with pollen and nectar.

This bee was too busy to notice my camera a few inches away.


But wait! There's something odd about that bee. Something not quite right.

Missing something.

Her wings are half gone. One is a mere stump; the other a tattered shred, but longer. Besides, she's long gone bald. The thorax glistens as if it had been polished, and her furry, striped behind has been trimmed by a blind hairdresser.

The hair loss is probably due to age, but something, a bird probably, broke off those wings. I wonder how she managed to fly. Surely she didn't walk to the feeding grounds?

Finished with this flower.

Turning to go, she stood facing me, as if gathering strength for the next flight. The wing stubs are clearer here.

On the lip of the bindweed flower.

A brief rest, and then she flew away. Half a wing or none, she's got work to do! She's a survivor.

Here's one of her relatives, on a mallow, for comparison:

Lots of hair, complete wings.

The bees have four wings, but the pair on each side hook together, so that they look like one. On the first bee, I see no sign of those frilly underwings.


  1. Wonderful s close-ups!

  2. Now that is determination!!! There are babies to feed, and she can still contribute!!! I take my hat off to her!!!


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