I grow Common Chicory (Cichorium intybus) for my rabbit Bertie. There’s an awful lot of it, and it grows too fast to keep under control in summer when it becomes a prolific flowerer. The scapes grow several centimetres a day, and before you know it the raised beds are full of scraggly droopy stems with lovely blue flowers and almost no leaves.
The flowers attract members of the local European honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony, important pollinators of crops, garden plants (and weeds), and then I have a photo-op!
[Click on individual photos to embiggen].
Crumbs of pollen fall off this bee as it flies with full pollen baskets on its legs. The weight of the pollen doesn’t seem to pose any problem for the insect.
I’m still not sure how I managed to capture this shot. Really good luck, fast drive mode and continuous focus were involved, I know. But even so…
I got really close to my subjects for some of these pictures but didn’t get stung. It is useful to be categorized as “mostly harmless”. :)
Date: 12 January 2014
Camera: Pentax K-5
Lens 1: Sigma 50mm 1:2.8 DG Macro
Ambient light only.
Conditions: Bright, with some cloud.
Cropping and resizing in Irfanview.