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14 Nov 2011 328 views
 
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photoblog image Japanese Carpenter Bee [1/5]

Japanese Carpenter Bee [1/5]

She is one of my favourite photographic subjects.

 

She is industrious and courageous, and a very diligent sex worker.

 

Japanese Carpenter Bees exist in many parts of the world. They are frequently regarded as pests, because they bite out a nest in dry wood, and that wood is quite often a part of a human's dwelling. While the nest excavation is quite big, it is most unlikely that it going to cause the house to fall around its inhabitants.

 

The female is a solitary character...after a very brief encounter with a male, she abandons him, spends a week or so chewing out her nest, deposits about 3-10 eggs, tends the eggs, then the young until they are as big as her and she drives them out of the nest to fend for themselves.

 

The male is harmless, but the female has a potent sting which she will deploy only if her young are in peril.

 

The sound of a Japanese Carpenter Bee flying past your ear will probably provoke goose-bumps all over your body.

Japanese Carpenter Bee [1/5]

She is one of my favourite photographic subjects.

 

She is industrious and courageous, and a very diligent sex worker.

 

Japanese Carpenter Bees exist in many parts of the world. They are frequently regarded as pests, because they bite out a nest in dry wood, and that wood is quite often a part of a human's dwelling. While the nest excavation is quite big, it is most unlikely that it going to cause the house to fall around its inhabitants.

 

The female is a solitary character...after a very brief encounter with a male, she abandons him, spends a week or so chewing out her nest, deposits about 3-10 eggs, tends the eggs, then the young until they are as big as her and she drives them out of the nest to fend for themselves.

 

The male is harmless, but the female has a potent sting which she will deploy only if her young are in peril.

 

The sound of a Japanese Carpenter Bee flying past your ear will probably provoke goose-bumps all over your body.

comments (18)

I like the narrative... and the bee is very eye-catching!!
Ray: She is a beautiful and awesome critter, Jacquelyn, and has just Buzzzzzzzzed right past my left ear.
  • Ginnie
  • Netherlands
  • 14 Nov 2011, 05:38
I'm afraid we DO call these carpenter bees pests in America, Ray! In Atlanta they would bore perfectly round holes in the eaves of our screened-in porch, which we'd have to plug up...sometimes with toothpaste. grin

In your hands, however, they do appear quite beautiful, if not harmless!
Ray: Actually, Ginnie, I think we may have had this conversation already. Toothpaste sounds like an interesting deterent, and I am sure it would work with the Boy, also!

[grin]
  • Chris
  • England
  • 14 Nov 2011, 06:56
Amazing thing Ray: sounds awesome!
Ray: I think this is a [rare] appropriate use of the word Awesome, Chris.
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 14 Nov 2011, 07:09
It almost sounds like a SF.
Fabulous shot again, you are the master of taking shots of flying objects.
A likey to me.
Thanks for the education.
Ray: You are very kind, Astrid.

I still have much to learn about shots of insects in flight, but believe my success rate is slowly improving.
Cracking picture and interesting text Ray. We don't have these here but we do have a small wood boring wasp that behaves in a similar fashion
Ray: These gals make a big hole, Bill...the perfectly round opening is probably big enough to insert your finger, and the nest area has to be big enough to house 6-10 of these critters.
Striking detail, Ray.
Ray: This gal even had a few droplets of water taking a free ride, Graeme.
  • Chad Doveton
  • Where latitude and longitude meet.
  • 14 Nov 2011, 08:56
Damn annoying creatures Ray, but very good to photyograph I see. You have captured this one very well.
Ray: Relax, Chad, and consider the possibilities...a unique white-chocolate-dipped one would surely be a big hit in some foreign markets!
Not bad Ray ... don't you just love a bit of understating. [grin]
Ray: You are very kind, Richard. One needs to leave room for the reader to embellish the story, heh!
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 14 Nov 2011, 09:06
Right up there with your best pictures ever taken. Such detail.

PS. how is it with the flooding over there?
Ray: Thank you, Louis.

The flooding situation is basically developing in slow-motion...we spent 5 days up-country, assisting the family with the heavy lifting aspects of the rice harvest...when we returned it seemed the news bulletins were same same.

I did take the opportunity to stock up on essentials...beer, water...
She is wet, smooth and hairy and you made her beautiful.
Ray: She is a gorgeous thing, Mary, and so it was not difficult to make this shot work...
A wonderful shot Ray - motion captured with such perfection!
Ray: I was delighted to get the focus approximately right, Thomas.
  • vintage
  • Australia
  • 14 Nov 2011, 10:56
She a stunner in many ways
Ray: Ha Ha
Nice comment, Vintage.
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 14 Nov 2011, 12:42
a fascinating, well protected bee -and very interesting is your information - her sounds I can hardly imagine - interesting too to read that the males are 'harmless', the wars have been/are mostly led by male humans.
I read also your comment about the flooding situation in Thailand with interest.
Ray: It is an interesting thing about the males, Philine.

Bees, Ants...probably most insects...there are males in the clan purely to mate with the Queen or breeding females. The males mostly just sit about all day, eating food and exercising their wings and muscles in preparation for the coming competition to be the one to get the female. The males don't do any work, and don't even play the role of soldier when defence of the clan is required.

I suppose they are very similar in many ways to human males, but the insects don't get bored and troublesome. [smile]
Great shot Ray, she's a big girl isn't she.
Ray: By bee standards, Brian, she is enormous.
  • Linda
  • United Kingdom
  • 14 Nov 2011, 14:08
Stunning capture Ray, she really is beautiful.
Also looked at your market series, great place to explore and take in everything around you smile
Ray: Thank you, Linda.

This market is well worth putting on your agenda when you visit Bangkok. You should schedule one day, but be aware that you will be exhausted after it.
The clarity is superb, Ray. You've even captured the water drops on her back and I can just imagine how soft that yellow plush would feel under the fingertips. Great job!
Ray: That yellow plush is a luxurious matte o the youngsters, Beverly, but gradually wears off the female from all her industrious activities.
  • Alan
  • Near Romsey, UK
  • 14 Nov 2011, 19:16
She looks mean and can pack a punch from her sting, I should think. She looks to have about a ten foot wingspan from you fine shot! smile I prefer a bee to a wasp any day; a wasp is just out to cause misery all the time.
Ray: Her wingspan is about 6-7cm, Alan, which is huge for a bee.

I need to be careful around bees, as I have a potentially deadly allergic reaction to their poison. I don't know if I have the same problem with wasps. Despite this, I do like them as subjects.
Exceptional macro Ray! The color and clarity of this photo is stunning. I can hear the bee buzzing in my head smile

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camera Canon EOS 7D
exposure mode shutter priority
shutterspeed 1/320s
aperture f/6.3
sensitivity ISO250
focal length 400.0mm
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