Posts Tagged ‘macro nature video’

July 10, 2013...Spring veggies harvested, soil spaded and leveled, drip watering in place, this bed is ready to plant our winter garden.

July 7, 2013…Spring veggies harvested, soil spaded and leveled, drip watering in place, this bed is ready to plant our winter garden.

When we planted  turnips, lettuce and kale in July for our winter garden little did we know we were planting for the bees as well as ourselves.

July 28, 2013...turnips are growing nicely in the center, lettuce and kale are on the sides.

July 28, 2013…turnips are growing nicely in the center, lettuce and kale are on the sides. Deer netting over pvc hoops.

January 16, 2014...We had eaten most of the turnips and just left a few to go to seed.  We never thought the bees would be enjoying them in mid January.  What a welcome surprise.

January 16, 2014…We had eaten most of the turnips and just left a few to go to seed. We never thought the bees would be enjoying them in mid January. What a welcome surprise.

February 9, 2014...My apologies for posting such a fuzzy picture of a bee on the catkins,but it was rather high up.  I wanted to show where the pollen was coming from that is going into my log hive.

February 9, 2014…My apologies for posting such a fuzzy picture of a bee on the catkins,but it was rather high up. I wanted to show where the pollen was coming from that is going into my log hive.

February 9, 2014...Many colors of pollen entering the hive.  In the video you can see the bright yellow from the turnip flowers.  It's possible this is from the pussy willows that are just starting to blossom

February 9, 2014…Many colors of pollen can be seen entering the hive. In the video you can see the bright yellow pollen from turnip flowers. It’s possible this shot is from the pussy willows that are just starting to blossom.  The darker orange might be from early gorse.

February 10, 2014...Yellow turnip flowers have been flowering since mid January.  Pussy willows are starting to blossom already.

February 10, 2014…Yellow turnip flowers have been flowering since mid January. Pussy willows are starting to blossom already.  Second bed is producing greens for our salads.  We can eat them 15 minutes after they are picked…can’t get much fresher than that.  We cover them with plastic film (partially visible on far side) on nights of sub freezing temps.

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Last year in June, before the deer discovered it, the bees were on the Meadowfoam everyday.

Last year in June, before the deer discovered it, the bees were on the Meadowfoam everyday.

If you’ve ever watched the bees on a Poached Egg Meadowfoam (Limnanthes Douglasii),  you will want to grow some for your bees.    Last year I bought 12 plants from my friendly nursery (101 Plants).  The bees were on them everyday.  Unfortunately, the deer discovered them, and mowed them down.  This year I’m happy to say I found a source for seeds.  I’m buying 1000 seeds for under $5.00 from Outside Pride in Oregon.  With that many seeds, I can scatter them in quite a few areas (fenced in, this time).  The bees will love them and so will I.

aaaaa

Another photo taken shortly before the deer decided to sample it last year.

I was under the mistaken impression that Meadowfoam was grown mostly in Oregon and Northern California, but I see the Royal Horticultural Society in Great Britain has a listing for it as a Poached Egg Plant.

The oil from Limnanthes Alba is valuable…According to Oregon Meadowfoam Growers, meadowfoam oil is 20 times more stable than soybean oil, which means it does not deteriorate as readily when exposed to air. A gallon of meadowfoam oil is worth about $200 retail.

February 2, 2014...the salvia is looking strong.  Footnote...we replaced some bulbs with the full spectrum bulbs this year.  Hoping to lessen the legginess.

February 2, 2014…the salvia is looking strong. Footnote…we replaced some bulbs in the light stand with the full spectrum bulbs this year hoping to lessen the legginess. These look good.

June 28, 2013...Penstemon is a great bumblebee attraction.

June 28, 2013…Penstemon is a great bumblebee attraction.

Put date and caption here

June 9, 2013…Honeybees are getting nectar from the Pincushion Flowers (Scabiosa)

Don’t forget the butterflies!

February 3, 2014...received my Butterflyseed package today.  These bright flowers attract honeybees also.

February 3, 2014…received my Butterflyweed seed package today. These bright flowers attract honeybees also.

One of the beekeeping blogs I follow, written by Emma Sarah Tennant, featured a TED talk by Marla Spivak, showing the reasons why bees are disappearing and how we can help them by planting habitat.  We are proud to be a small part of a growing movement to help our wild pollinators.

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January 14, 2013...a beautiful warm day brought the bees out to the heather.  I saw very few honeybees, but very many bombus Melanopygus (this one) and also Bombus vosnesenskii (yellow-faced bumbles)

January 14, 2013…a beautiful warm day brought the bees out to the heather. I saw very few honeybees, but very many bombus Melanopygus (this one) and also Bombus vosnesenskii (yellow-faced bumbles)
Here you can see the pollen release.  When the bee gets the nectar, the pollen shoots out.

Here you can see the pollen release. When the bee gets the nectar, the pollen shoots out.

As she grooms herself with her front legs, you can see what looks to be a static electricity charge on her bee fuzz...shows up better on the video.

As she grooms herself with her front legs, you can see what looks to be a static electricity charge on her bee fuzz…it shows up better on the video.

This short video shows a bumblebee (bombus Melanopygus) sipping nectar from heather in mid January.  As she sips, pollen can be seen shooting out.  Later she grooms herself.  I noticed what looked to be a static electricity charge when her front legs combed her fuzzy head.

I didn’t want to interrupt the music so I added some video of my Bee-atrice log hive which didn’t make it through the sub freezing weather.   I looked at a comb which had some capped honey as well as uncapped cells.  I replaced the comb in the hopes that this hive will attract a swarm in spring.

It should be raining sideways this month.  It’s not.  After our cold snap, we’ve been enjoying daytime temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s F. (10’s and 20’s C)  When I filmed this it was 71 F. (22 C).  Our honeybees love it.  They are bringing back yellow and orange pollen.  I can’t figure where they’re getting it because the pussy willows aren’t blooming yet, but traffic is heavy as can bee seen on the video.

This is my second winter with bees.  They don’t fly when it’s raining of course, but we do get breaks in the rain, the sun pops out and the bees are flying.  I feel bad for the beekeepers that must tuck their charges to bed in the autumn and trust they will emerge when the weather warms up sometimes months later.  I’m talking about people like Emily Heath among others in cold far away places. 🙂 I guess you could say I’m spoiled to be able to see them active during the winter.   I don’t know what will happen in spring.  It’s possible we’ll get our rain then…given the choice, I’d rather get it now.  In any case the bees are making use of the warm weather.

How are your bees?

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Oregon Grape-Holly

Oregon Grape-Holly blooming in late November

Most visitors to the post office go to get their mail.  These visitors go to get nectar.  The Oregon Grape Holly is in full bloom, offering nectar and nectar is what they got.  Honeybees, bumblebees, even a couple of green hummingbirds partake in the feast.

What is the importance of nectar?   My Biodiversity Garden states “Nectar is the fuel for our pollinators such as solitary bees, bumblebees, honeybees, butterflies, moths and bats. It is the only source of energy and without it, the pollinators cannot fly. Nectar is secreted by nectaries within the flower.”

According to Dave’s Gardens  Mahonia Aquifolium blooms in mid spring.  This is late November!  The plant is growing against a brick wall, facing south, during an unseasonably dry autumn.  In any case, the wild pollinators love it.

November 24th...This honeybee is getting nectar from an early blooming Oregon Grape Holly

November 24th…This honeybee is getting nectar from an early blooming Oregon Grape Holly (Mahonia Aquifolium)

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Sweet Thunder provides the delightful musical background for this video of hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies at work in my garden on the Oregon Coast.

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Mid October...the bees are bringing in baskets loaded with orange pollen.

Mid October…the bees are bringing in baskets loaded with orange pollen.

When I saw how much pollen was coming into Bee Beard log hive, I wanted to find out where it was coming from.   I knew it had to be ivy  because that’s the only thing in bloom this late.  I set out to prove my theory.

I went to my known ivy patches, which just happened to be in the sun…perfect.

Mid October...An American Painted Lady (I think)

Mid October…An American Painted Lady (I think)

I didn’t see any bees at this first place, but this butterfly posed for me long enough to get a short video.  She is sipping nectar through her long proboscis which acts like a flexible straw.

This looks like a bee, but the eyes are different.

This looks like a bee, but the eyes are different.  It’s a fly who is grooming herself in the sun.  The video shows her rubbing her front legs and using them to scrape the pollen off the top of her body.

I see Barbara out walking her dogs.  She knows I’m obsessive about bees and mentions an ivy covered wall that was buzzing with bees.  I head over.

This ivy wall was buzzing with bees...I'm going to get lots of opportunities to shoot bee videos.

This ivy wall was buzzing with bees…I’m going to get lots of opportunities to shoot bee videos.

I knew something was weird with this when her proboscis touched the top of the stamen and rubbed it.

I knew something was weird with this when her proboscis touched the top anther and rubbed it.  It’s another fly that resembles a bee.

This looks like a white-trimmed black wasp, but it's the wrong habitat for it.  Can anyone ID it for sure?

This looks like a white-trimmed black wasp, but it’s the wrong habitat for it. Can anyone ID it for sure?  It’s another ‘buzzing insect’ working the ivy.

Celeste A. S. Mazzacano, Ph. D.
Staff Scientist / Aquatic Conservation Director, Xerces Society Project Coordinator, Migratory Dragonfly Partnership

Celeste replied to my request to for an identification of this wasp…
Pat, I am pretty sure that what you have are some lovely shots of the  White-faced Hornet (Vespula maculata, also known as Dolichovespula maculata,  not sure which name is the most current).  The markings are quite distinctive, especially around the eyes and thorax, and this is the only West Coast wasp species that is white and black–all the others are yellow and black.  These dudes are apparently aggressive little stingers, and the adults are predatory on small invertebrates, so I don’t think they’d be more than incidental pollinators.  They make above-ground nests out of chewed wood pulp, but a colony only lasts for one year–they die off over the winter, except for females that mate at the end of summer and start new colonies the following spring.  These are nice photos!     Thanks, Celeste.

Finally I see an actual honeybee who is sipping nectar, but no pollen is evident.

Finally I see an actual honeybee who is sipping nectar, but no pollen is evident.

Another look, but no pollen is visible.

Another look, but no pollen is visible.

I spot a bee on a dandelion, pollen sprinkled on her abdomen.  A close look revealed none in her pollen baskets.

I spot a bee on a dandelion, pollen sprinkled on her abdomen. A close look revealed none in her pollen baskets.

I can see I was mistaken about the pollen going into my hives.  It can’t be ivy just yet…not sure what it is, but I’ll keep looking.

Important facts about ivy

Removing English Ivy from trees

Patricia talks about the importance of ivy as a nectar source for insects late in the year.

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I asked Kiera O’hara, the composer and pianist of the background music, “Song for Earth Day.”
“I’ve got the melody replaying itself over and over again in my head. Since you wrote it can you describe the background of it? I’m always curious how a person comes up with music, probably because I’m so NOT musical.
There’s that little voice towards the end (at 3:10) that says to me, “But why can’t I?”  or “but what about this?”  It’s definitely a question. That’s how it sounds to me. :-)”

Her reply…

You’ve got it, exactly! That ending was meant to sound tentative–the vulnerability of the earth asking for help, and the question lingering for us humans, will we help?

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Cemetery tree, July 1, 2013

Cemetery bush, July 1, 2013

In July I noticed honeybees were pollinating these bushes in the cemetery.  I took photos so I could show them to knowledgeable people to ID them.  I asked quite a few people who had no idea what those bushes were.  Jim, the  volunteer at the cemetery, said at first he thought they were planted, but later he realized the birds must have dropped seeds where the mower couldn’t reach and they just grew without being cut.

July 1, 2013  Bees love this bush.  Circle shows the color of pollen.

July 1, 2013 Bees love this bush. Circle shows the color of pollen.

October 26, 2013...we suddenly realize this is  a cotoneaster bush.  It's just so obvious with the red berries.  Thanks to the bees, the birds will benefit.

October 26, 2013…we suddenly realize this is a cotoneaster bush. It’s just so obvious with the red berries. Thanks to the bees the birds will benefit.

Facts about cotoneaster

I shot some video of the blossoms with the bees getting nectar.  If I see the birds eating berries, I’ll get a video on them.

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Bee Beard...August 1, 2013.  The bees always fly around at the entrance between 1:30 and 3:30.  I'm not sure why, the outside temperature is only 68 F (15C)

Bee Beard…August 1, 2013. The bees always fly around at the entrance between 1:30 and 3:30. I’m not sure why, the outside temperature is only 68 F (15C)

After it threw six swarms, I wondered if Bee Beard had anything left.  Yes, there were bees but was there a laying queen?  Then in the beginning of April,  I started watching in horror as drones were being tossed out of the entrance.  Drones with reddish colored eyes and ‘chewed up’ wings.  I checked the bee literature and learned that I was looking at a good example of “Deformed Wing Virus,” thought to be caused by the dreaded varroa mite.

Two bees evicting one with Deformed Wing Virus

April 1, 2013…I was filming the bees at the entrance when I heard a thump on the landscape cloth. Two bees were evicting one with Deformed Wing Virus

It started in the beginning of April and continued through the end of the month.  Then came Drone Awareness Month.  I thought for sure, this would be the end of the hive because I had a “laying worker.”

April 25, 2013...SIX DRONES visible.  I have never seen so many drones at the entrance.

April 25, 2013…SIX DRONES visible. I have never seen so many drones at the entrance.

You can notice these bees because of their eyes.  The tops of their eyes meet in the middle.  Also drones are big.  In the video you’ll notice how much bigger they are then the worker bees.  I wasn’t worried about their size however, I was worried there was no queen.  For this many drones in one place, it meant (to me) only one thing…a laying worker.  If there’s no fertilized queen (possibly because of all the swarms) then sometimes a worker bee will start to lay.  If you inspect the combs, you’ll see the eggs laid on the side of the cell or multiple eggs in an individual cell…the sign of a laying worker (or more than one)   Workers are not fertile and can only lay drones.  If they are only laying drones, the colony will die out, because drones don’t work.  Since I didn’t want to open the hive and intervene,  I was going have to sweat it out.

August 4, 2013...I see lots of bee activity and pollen going in.  Is it possible my fears were unfounded?

August 4, 2013…I see lots of bee activity and pollen going in. Is it possible my fears were unfounded?

Bee Beard Log Hive is an experiment in what happens with no intervention.  I don’t medicate, miticide, or treat the bees with anything.  That includes essential oils and powdered sugar.  I don’t take any honey.  These bees came from a myrtlewood tree last June.  They’ve never even been smoked.  We grow many bee-loving flowers, but I know that bees also go elsewhere for foraging.  Is it possible the Varroa mite and deformed wing virus are still around?  Of course…but as long as the bees can adapt, that’s as much as anyone can want.  I guess I’ll know more by next spring, but right now they look good.

Bee Beard looked a little sharper last year when it finally got some bees.

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Who ever said plant biology was boring?  Certainly not me after shooting this video.

When I shot this video I didn't realize I was witness an intimate relationship between flower and bee.

When I shot this video I didn’t realize I was witnessing an intimate relationship between flower and bee.  The pistil is still showing here, but in the video, the petals clamp shut soon after the bee moves on.

The flower provides the nectar to attract the bee.  The bee lands on the flower, pulls the petals apart to reveal the pistil.  The flower shoots out pollen which the bee carries away.

The flower provides the nectar to attract the bee. The bee lands on the flower, pulling the petals apart to reveal the pistil. The flower makes pollen available which the bee carries away.

Since this is my 100th blog, I wanted to do something special.  I wanted to have some music in the background.   Sweet Thunder, a quartet in Portland, graciously gave me permission to use one of their tunes called, “Blues in the Barn.”  Kiera O’Hara, who composed the music, said “she wrote it when she lived on a tree farm in Michigan and her piano room was a refurbished nook in an old barn.”  “We are a collaborative bunch, so the sound of my tunes on the disk is very much the result of that collaboration.”

Thank you Sweet Thunder for the sweet music.

The video shows the bee and flower cooperation.  I never took biology in school, so I don’t know if they show this racy stuff, but this is an unrated Bee movie in the truest sense.

I was unsure what this blossom was.  I thought it might be a yellow vetch, so I asked Morris Ostrofsky.  Morris, a forty year beekeeper and scientist affiliated with the Oregon State Master Beekeeping Program positively identified this blossom as a Bird’s Foot Trefoil.
“The plant is indeed Birds Foot Trefoil. This plant ranks high on the bees’ favorite forage list.  If you go back in some of the older bee publications, it was actually encouraged as bee forage. However, it’s no longer encouraged because it has been found to be invasive. However, the bees’ still love it.”

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