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  #1  
Old 23rd April 2018
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Nomada Bee

These images are from one of the most difficult sessions I have ever had photographing an insect.

I saw some wasp-like bees flying near the ground in our garden. There were as many as four of them flying at the same time, apparently searching for something (parasite hosts?) no more than a hand palm height above the ground, just above the emerging shoots of Goldenrod, or out of sight, among the stems. I was fairly sure that they were Nomada bees, of which I had never obtained a good image.

When I say there were as many as four, most of the time none were visible. Then one, sometimes two, would appear and fly erratically around. Very occasionally, one would settle, sometimes on a leaf, sometimes on dead, twiggy material in a small clearing. The slightest movement from me would make them fly.

For this exercise, I was on my knees all the time, on wet, lumpy ground. During two hours on the first day I got no usable images. Another two hours or so on the second day gained the few shown here. Having initially tried daylight exposure, I had to use flash to get sharp images, using a single gun. I would normally use at least two but any disturbance of the foliage would lose a shot.

The first image (slightly cropped) shows the closest I could get at first.

After all this, I managed to get a crosseye stereo pair!

I have tried to identify the exact species but have had to leave it as Nomada species.

Olympus EM-1 (manual mode), Olympus 4/3 x2 TC, Olympus 4/3 50mm f2 macro, 1/250 at f13, hand-held, one TTL RC flash below hot shoe position.

Harold









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  #2  
Old 23rd April 2018
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Re: Nomada Bee

They are some excellent macro shots Harold. Well done for persevering in what sounds like uncomfortable conditions.
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  #3  
Old 23rd April 2018
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Re: Nomada Bee

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They are some excellent macro shots Harold. Well done for persevering in what sounds like uncomfortable conditions.
Thanks, Paul.

I do have knee pads but I use then only when it's too painful without! In fact I have a new pair to try out.

Harold
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Old 23rd April 2018
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Re: Nomada Bee

A story of dedication and some encouraging shots Harold. Number three is very good and clear.

I'd be interested in your feedback on kneepads. I was looking but most reviews seem to say they don't fit very well and the fastenings need constant adjustment. So I started to look at memory foam kneeling pads instead.

I think after two hours I'd need a fork-lift to get me up again....
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Old 23rd April 2018
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Re: Nomada Bee

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A story of dedication and some encouraging shots Harold. Number three is very good and clear.

I'd be interested in your feedback on kneepads. I was looking but most reviews seem to say they don't fit very well and the fastenings need constant adjustment. So I started to look at memory foam kneeling pads instead.

I think after two hours I'd need a fork-lift to get me up again....
Believe it or not, within an arm's reach of this keyboard is an unopened pack of memory foam knee pads. I got mine mail order from Coopers of Stortford. They may have been "on offer". My current one are from Aldi and the Velcro tapes work moderately well.

The main issue with knee pads is are you prepared to walk around, wearing them in public?

As for getting up from kneeling, I have had a lot of trouble with sciatica recently and exercising, rather than rest, deals with it. The last symptom to go is the ache in the buttocks from sitting on a chair.

Harold
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Old 23rd April 2018
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Re: Nomada Bee

Well done with putting the the hard work.
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Old 23rd April 2018
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Re: Nomada Bee

I had similar bees on the raised veg beds over the weekend, I considered them to quick to attempt photography! Yes, I am a lightweight.
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Old 23rd April 2018
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Re: Nomada Bee

Good work Harold
I have managed some Nomada shots even the classic sleeping shot but it also took some serious effort. Not easy to ID either but it gets easier if you ID the host.
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Old 24th April 2018
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Re: Nomada Bee

Impressive results for impressive perseverance!
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Old 24th April 2018
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Re: Nomada Bee

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Impressive results for impressive perseverance!
Thanks. The hardware and processing software help.

Here are some images from the last time I got one framed, in May 6 years ago. They were on Cotoneaster horizontalis, whose buds are now just forming.

Reprocessing these early JPEGs brought out a bit of detail but I did not have the camera or lenses I am using now.

E-P2, Leitz Elamarit 60mm 2.8 Macro, ISO 400 1/60 to 1/160, hand held, sunlight.

Harold





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Old 27th April 2018
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Re: Nomada Bee

There was no image matching this species on the BWARS site. I now realise it is Nomada flava.

Harold
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Old 28th April 2018
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Re: Nomada Bee

Kudos for enthusiasm, Harold, your persistence paid off.
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Old 28th April 2018
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Re: Nomada Bee

Did you observe the host bee for these parasites?
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Old 28th April 2018
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Re: Nomada Bee

Wonderful images rewarding great observation, diligence and skill.
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Old 28th April 2018
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Re: Nomada Bee

Thank you Harold for detailing what you did and how you achieved the superb photos. Your efforts paid off. I was in the forest yesterday and had to do similar to line up a shot of wild flowers sited low down on a tree bough. 2 years ago, I lost part of a leg due to gangrene, ultimately the leg was saved, but it’s kind of awkward getting low to get those ‘Golden Shots’... Bye the way, I enjoy reading your posts and seeing the photos. An education.
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