Photographing Bees

A while back Rick Lee said that photographing bees is scary. Really?

Okay, so I can't resist showing off a little. Rick's pic of a single bee in flight is much more impressive.

If you want to photograph bees it will help a lot if you hang out with a beekeeper for a while. What will probably not help your confidence any is the casual way that beekeepers talk about getting stung - as if it's no big deal. And if you think about it, considering the kind of injuries you risk every time you get into a car the level of fear most people feel around bees seems a little out of proportion. No, that doesn't make me any less afraid of them either; I just thought I'd mention it.

What will make you more confident around bees is learning more about their instincts and habits. Domesticated honeybees are actually very gentle and agreeable creatures. The picture in this post was taken with a 3x zoom and it has been cropped but I was only about 4 or 5 feet away from the hive without any protective clothing. How did I did I get away with it? Easy. I stayed at the side of the hive, not in front of it. When you take pictures of bees on flowers you really have little to worry about. As long as you don't swat at them they probably won't even notice you, even if you're holding a camera just a few inches away.

Quiet, Thoughtful Politics

I haven't been reading political blogs lately as much as I used to but Between Hope and Fear is one of my favorites. Sometimes I agree with what I read there and sometimes I disagree but it's always well-written and thoughtful, far from the ranting and snarking common on most political blogs. I can unreservedly recommend it to readers of almost any political persuasion.

The most recent post is about the rejection of the EU constitution. I am interested in this issue but the "no" votes don't seem, to me, as Earth-shaking as some bloggers are making them out to be. It's just part of the process. It might be satisfying to imagine that the voters are sending a message to the governments of Europe but it seems to me that governments never get the messages that the people would like to send. Anyway, they will either try again or scrap the whole idea. Either way, life and civilization will go on.

There are also some slightly disturbing reflections on multiculturalism. Or maybe not all that disturbing. Do we all, as we get older, start to hate the direction civilization is headed?