Misty morning in the squash fields

I was helping a friend with her field work last week…she studies squash bees (Peponapis pruinosa). Squash bees are fascinating for a number of reasons, one of which is that they are early birds (NB not actual birds).  Most bees bumble out around ten in the morning, when it is warm and sunny, but squash bees like to get their work for the day done before nine, meaning they sometimes even fly before dawn!  For a field biologist, this means rolling out when it’s still dark, rubbing sleepy eyes in the field vehicle.

Misty squash fields at dawn

Misty squash fields at dawn

Sunrise burning off the mist

Sunrise burning off the mist

We wanted photos of the nesting bees, so we had to be patient.

At the beginning of the morning

This is my friend…at the beginning of the morning

After waiting for a bee to emerge for 45 minutes

After waiting at one nest hole for a bee to emerge…for 45 minutes

The bees nest right until the leaves of the squash plants.

Squash bee nests

Squash bee nests

But when they go in and out of their holes, they move really fast!  You have to be patient and then quick to get a photo!  We were out there for two hours and I only got two photos of bees emerging from nests.

You only get one chance to snap a photo

You only get one chance to snap a photo

IMG_9453They’re much easier to photograph on flowers.

IMG_9347But I did spend a lot of time photographing nest holes…

I have about 45 photos of this nest hole, at which I waiting for the better part of an hour...

I have about 45 photos of this nest hole, at which I waiting for the better part of an hour…

And random blades of grass…

IMG_9379

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12 thoughts on “Misty morning in the squash fields

  1. Into every profession spells of dreaded boredom must creep! You seem to handle boredom nicely, lovely photos, the random grass, and the stunning bee who looks like he is buoyed up by pollen are amazing! Sorry, but for all your waiting for the bees to emerge from nests, the one on the flower is more interesting to me! So much pollen! And that random grass looks almost as if it were coated with ice! Such a lot of water for a tiny patch of grass! Thanks again for sharing your photos.

  2. Pingback: Squash bee cleptoparasite | standingoutinmyfield

  3. Pingback: Little pollen sausages | standingoutinmyfield

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