Wow. Thank you all so much for the compliments. I was really nervous about posting that pic here where so many honeybee experts could see it - but you guys really made me glad I did!
OK, to answer the questions...
What equipment do you use?
For the most part I get into wildlife and landscape photography (as you can see on my WikiCommons User page
) so I use a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 camera that has a 12X zoom lens built-in. It's a sweet little camera, unfortunately all that zoom comes with a price, which is a pretty bad minimum focus distance - meaning it's hard to zoom in on things that are up close to you. So I've been experimenting with these screw-on auxiliary lenses called diopters, that are basically just magnifying glasses that go over the lens. This shot was taken with a +4 dioptic lens on my FZ-50. They're very finicky to work with, but the results can be amazing.
How did you convince her to pose like that??
She's a little ham. Just lit right up when she saw the camera. ;-)
Nah, I can't take any credit for that. She's sitting on a little lip beside the hive entrance. I go out there in the evening a lot to sit next to the hives and see what my girls are up to, and it's pretty common for a single bee to climb up there and do their little antenna-cleaning routine while everyone else (that you can see in the background) is doing their evening housekeeping around the hive entrance. I just set the camera on the tripod, focused on that spot, and then waited for a bee to climb up there. It's one of the few times they will sit still for a few seconds, which is what made the photo possible.
I am sure Howland would like to see it for his new cover - hope you will be submitting?
I hadn't even thought about that. I guess I assumed he would probably get a lot better submissions than my photo - but I'll send it his way. You never know, right? Thank for the suggestion!
But those eyes are shining brightly and warmly.
I have to admit that the 'warmth' was one of the things I liked the most about it - but I can't take any credit for that either. Due to a lack of morning sunlight on my property, I had to set my hives up to catch the evening sun instead. There was a really nice sunset that evening, and the reddish/yellow light of the sunset is what gives the photo such a warm feel.