Monday, 8 June 2015

Flying drones

One of my hives has a lot of drones (male honey bees) and when the sun shone today they came out to fly.  As there were so many I had a go at taking photos in flight.  It is very hit and miss as the depth of field with the macro lens is very small.   The light was good so I was using a shutter speed of 1/1000th and an ISO of 800.  Nearly all the photos were rejects but one or two are not too bad.

This is a drone on the crown board (with the shadow of another one flying behind him).

Here are two drones showing their cylindrical body shape.  The red mark is a propolis stain.

These photos each show a drone with a female worker for comparison - the drones are all on the left as we look.  They are larger and have huge eyes.

Here are some in flight shots.  The first two also show a worker for comparison.  Drones make a louder and lower-pitched buzz than the workers.

Drones are strange looking things when you see them like this.  Their legs look much longer in flight than they do in the hive.  The last one is carrying a varroa mite on his back - the number one pest of honey bees.  Drones will happily move from hive to hive so it is easy to see how the mites can be moved around.

1 comment:

  1. Really wonderful photos. The sounds of the drones can be quite startling when you open up a hive in summer, they're like little planes whizzing round.