Bumblebee ReflectionMay 19, 2014

Important update (July 2022): I have subsequently learned that my "bumblebee" is actually a carpenter bee, and there is no reflection at all. That is simply how a carpenter bee's eye looks.

On May 8 I came across a bumblebee hovering in place a few inches over the groundcover.

Bee eyes are somewhat reflective, and I could see even then that I was photographing his eye reflection.

Bumblebee eye reflection
  Following is a larger view of the eye reflection.
Detail of bumblebee eye reflection
  What had made the situation more complex is that the bumblebee was hovering somewhat behind another bumblebee on a dandelion flower. That left the immediate question: Why? Were the two bumblebees bound together somehow?

A further complexity arose when a third bumblebee came nearby.

Bumblebee interaction
  I'm not certain which was the original hovering bee and which was the newcomer. Nevertheless, one of the hovering bumblebees left, and the first (if the first and not a change of guard duty) resumed lookout duties.

So what was going on? Was there anything special about the bumblebee on the dandelion that called for watching? I wish I had a clue, but it was certainly an interesting scene.

Photo note: The photos were taken with the Pentax K20D and the Voigtlander 125mm macro lens on 8 May 2014 in the Toftrees game land, north of Cooper's Pond, State College, Pennsylvania.

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