Mulch Andrena

I visited my parents last weekend to help them put a lot of mulch down in the garden (and to battle back huge aggressive weeds!).  At the end of the day, I noticed a bee zipping around the fresh mulch.  When I looked closer, I noticed it was a little Andrena.  She was zipping back and forth in one corner of the garden, and I realized that we had inadvertently covered up a nesting site with the mulch.

She seemed determined though, zooming around and around and never landing.  So of course I ran to get my camera and plopped down on my belly in the grass near her haunt.  She NEVER landed, which made photographing her a challenge, but I’m kind of amazed that I did end up with some halfway decent shots.

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VRRRROOOOMmmmmm

I mean, this is a bee that is only a few millimeters long, moving at high speeds in unpredictable patterns. I was using a manual focus and a macro lens.  I was lucky to get anything!

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Okay, so I got a few shots like this. I was clearly just trying to capture the beauty of a blade of grass, DUH.

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Tiny bee, big yard.

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Inspecting the mulch.

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I can’t believe this is (mostly) in focus.

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This was meant to be artsy.  Ahem.

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My best shot of the bunch!!

I should end this story on a happy note…she did eventually find her nest!  Even though we completely changed the landscape cues and covered the ground in stinky mulch.  How did she find it?  Bees are amazing.

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