“The Ragweed Bee”

“The Ragweed Bee”

“Mindfulness is about love and loving life. When you cultivate this love, it gives you clarity and compassion for life, and your actions happen in accordance with that. “
– Jon Kabat-Zinn

It’s allergy double jeopardy, a bee on ragweed.

Strange, I used to have a real aversion to bees and wasps. Now that I am pursuing more macro images, I find myself surrounded by them, as I strain for that next ‘shot’.

That was the case a few days ago, as I was making images of a few Japanese beetles. I looked up and found myself in a dense patch of ragweed, filled with bees. And guess, what, the bees were not even vaguely interested in me, as they harvested the bounty of nectar from the plants around me. I had honeybees right next to my arm, and they cared not that I was there. We were simply occupying the same space, each with our own purpose.

It really was quite an experience for me; I never gave the bees a second thought, and I believe the feeling was mutual. This has opened up a whole new world for me. I find myself making more and more images of bees busily harvesting for the bounty of wild flowers. It is certainly not something I would have considered even a year ago. I suppose you could say I’m in my element. The thought of being stung does not cross my mind as I simply enjoy being a spectator in this activity. At this point, they could land on me and it would not bother me one bit. This really is living in the moment, and I love it. I am at peace. Oh ya, I’m also, supposedly, allergic to ragweed, go figure.

This simple image, of a bee, clinging to a ragweed blossom is so peaceful and enjoyable, having experienced that unexpected moment. It is a moment of time where I am simply ‘in it’ and fascinated by the processes of life and it’s simplicity. We all need more of these moments, so I thought I’d share it.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/800 sec, f/6.3 ISO 200

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7 Comments on ““The Ragweed Bee”

  1. The photo and the quote really caught my attention, but what I really enjoyed was reading about your experience amongst the bees. It evoked many warm feelings. Thanks for sharing!

  2. My grandkids loved Jerry Seinfeld in the childrens animated film, “The Bee Movie.” The despair of not having flowers and the potential worldwide effect really impressed them. They have realized Not to smack at bees, 🐝 wasps or flying insects. 🐞
    I have really started noticing grasshoppers and crickets. Still not perfect shots but last year, I captured what I felt was a disabled cicada on my green towel. One wing was bigger than another so it had a “lopsided” flying pattern! It actually made me get a little sad at life’s struggles for creatures great and small, Ed.

  3. I, too have learned that bees are mostly harmless. I won’t hesitate to lean in and sniff a milkweed flower if it has a bee on it. I consider it sharing. I’ve had bees land on me often, in fact there was one just this morning. They walk around a bit, figure out I’m not a flower, then move on.
    They like coffee. I was driving once and picked up my travel mug while keeping my eyes on the road. After a sip I saw something walking up the bridge of my nose. It was a bee, having walked off the top of the coffee cup while I sipped!
    I have never been stung by a bee during a casual encounter. Only if they are trapped (a shirt sleeve) or threatened will they sting.
    Wasps, on the other hand, are aggressive guards of home turf. They’re usually okay out in the wild, but if you get near their nest, they will chase you down and attack you.

    Take care,


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