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  • Writer's pictureJanice Gill

Ultimate Blog Challenge Day 17

Queen Buff Tailed Bumble Bee, covered in pollen, rests on my finger.
Queen Bee on my Finger by Janice Gill

I love bees - I love listening to them humming, watching them busily collect nectar, and photographing them. I get a real buzz when I capture one I haven't seen before.

In the UK there are over 270 species of bee. Not all bees can be precisely identified without killing a specimen, which I won't do, so I accepted long ago my catalogue will never be complete.

It takes quite a few photographs to identify a particular species. I capture shots where I can see the veins of the wings, the legs, antennae, face and head. I also ensure I have shots of the back and side of the bee.

Leaf cutter bee, loaded with pollen on flower of Bryony
Leaf Cutter Bee on Bryony Flower by Janice Gill

The underside of the bee is also important for identification so I trap them in a glass jar with a little sugary water under the lid to encourage them to climb the sides. They don't seem to mind my intrusion too much as I've never been stung by one. Wasps are a different matter as they tend to be angry in the Autumn.

Photographing them on Lavender plants or on Buddleia, they quite often land on my hands, much to my Husband's consternation.

Over the years, the number of bees and the variety of species have decreased. It's a common trend throughout Europe. Sadly, our British government has been loosening ties on the use of the most harmful insecticides since Brexit, the polar opposite of the regulations designed to halt the decline in pollinators in mainland Europe.

Side view of a Red tailed bee collecting nectar from a Raspberry flower.
Red Tailed Bee on Raspberry Flower by Janice Gill


Today I failed to get out for a walk in nature. It was simply one of those days. The nearest I got was hanging out the washing in the back garden while my Grandaughter played in the sand pit and my Grandson made himself a jam sandwich.

I won't let that stop me from continuing the challenge and setting up a healthy habit to take through the winter months.

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