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.
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.