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Lasioglossum albipes, f, france, side_2014-11-02-00.26.07 ZS PMax | by Sam Droege
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Lasioglossum albipes, f, france, side_2014-11-02-00.26.07 ZS PMax

Lasioglossum albipes, Polysocial Hairy-tongued Bee, specimen collected in France

 

 

Because of the very well known biology of Honey Bees some may believe that all bees have complex social lives. However, very few of the more than 20,000 species of bees discovered actually has a complex social life. Indeed, most bees are solitary and even most social bees live in colonies of no more than 10 individuals. The Polysocial Hairy-tongue varies in its preferences: in some parts of its range it is social, with small colonies, while in others it is entirely solitary. But why?

 

 

Generally, social bees produce two or more broods per year – minimally, the queen will produce a brood of workers and then the workers forage and construct pollen balls for the queen to lay eggs upon. If there are only two broods per year, the second one will be of males and the next year’s queens. This works well in parts of the world where the summers are reasonably long. However, in cold mountaintops, or unpredictable but cold far northern environments, the summer is too short for there to be time to produce two broods and some bees have managed to revert to a solitary lifestyle to persist in these colder areas. The Polysocial Hairy-tongue is one such species. Even within the country of France, this bee will be social in lowland areas with quite long summers, but they are solitary in mountainous regions.

 

 

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All photographs are public domain, feel free to download and use as you wish.

 

 

Photography Information: Canon Mark II 5D, Zerene Stacker, Stackshot Sled, 65mm Canon MP-E 1-5X macro lens, Twin Macro Flash in Styrofoam Cooler, F5.0, ISO 100, Shutter Speed 200

 

 

Further in Summer than the Birds

Pathetic from the Grass

A minor Nation celebrates

Its unobtrusive Mass.

No Ordinance be seen

So gradual the Grace

A pensive Custom it becomes

Enlarging Loneliness.

Antiquest felt at Noon

When August burning low

Arise this spectral Canticle

Repose to typify

Remit as yet no Grace

No Furrow on the Glow

Yet a Druidic Difference

Enhances Nature now

 

 

-- Emily Dickinson

 

 

Want some Useful Links to the Techniques We Use? Well now here you go Citizen:

 

 

 

Basic USGSBIML set up:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-_yvIsucOY

 

 

USGSBIML Photoshopping Technique: Note that we now have added using the burn tool at 50% opacity set to shadows to clean up the halos that bleed into the black background from "hot" color sections of the picture.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bdmx_8zqvN4

 

 

PDF of Basic USGSBIML Photography Set Up:

ftp://ftpext.usgs.gov/pub/er/md/laurel/Droege/How%20to%20Take%20MacroPhotographs%20of%20Insects%20BIML%20Lab2.pdf

 

 

Google Hangout Demonstration of Techniques:

plus.google.com/events/c5569losvskrv2nu606ltof8odo

or

www.youtube.com/watch?v=4c15neFttoU

 

 

Excellent Technical Form on Stacking:

www.photomacrography.net/

 

Contact information:

Sam Droege

sdroege@usgs.gov

301 497 5840

 

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Uploaded on November 12, 2014