Home » POTD » POTD Daily Winners for Friday, May 29, 2009 » Photo of the Day ~ Macro: Bugs and Closeups Category ~ May 29, 2009

Photo of the Day ~ Macro: Bugs and Closeups Category ~ May 29, 2009

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Reproductive Fission
by William MacKenzie (wmackenzie) 
Nikon D-300
North Carolina
United States of America

Photographer Notes:
While visiting my wife’s sister and her husband in North Carolina, my daughter and great-niece went for a walk around the perimeter of the yard. When they came back, they reported seeing a swarm of bees in the tree line. Of course, the first thing I did was grab my camera to go have a look. Scientifically, swarming is called ‘reproductive fission’, a process whereby a social insect colony splits into one or more subunits, each containing at least one queen and a fraction of the colony's workers. A natural occurrence in the wild, swarming propagates the species. It is always a planned event and can be caused by overcrowding, starvation or internal hive problems. Overcrowding is the main reason for a honey bee swarm though. A swarm consists of the original queen and several thousand workers. A swarm will cluster on a branch near the original nest while scouts seek a new, permanent location. This may take a few hours or a few days. Rarely, a swarm will build a new nest where it first alights.

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3.14 (11 votes)
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Jane Mountain commented on May 29, 2009 02:12:
Neat capture! I'm thrilled to see lots of bees anywhere after ominous reports from the agri-business. And thanks for your always informative background. : )
Robin-Lee Vieira commented on May 29, 2009 11:11:
Incredible capture! My neighbor raised bees for honey..and I have seen this before. I usually kept my distance! ;) Great capture..Congrats William!
Linn Smith commented on May 29, 2009 11:44:
Thank you for the description on the bees and their nest...amazing size of the nest and wonderful capture of the enormous number of bees! Congratulations on your win today!
John Matthews commented on May 29, 2009 14:43:
Great job on photographing so many Bees.Congratulations on your daring POTD.B+
Patrice Cigallio Wesa commented on May 29, 2009 21:54:
Wow, what a immense number of bees in one place...well seen & captured, William. You certainly seem to know a lot about bees & I enjoyed your fascinating narrative...congrats!
Connie Gordon commented on June 01, 2009 23:05:
I have never got to see this. we even had one on a tree in our yard years ago but I was gone for the day and missed it. great sight and capture.
Connie Gordon commented on June 01, 2009 23:05:
P.S. thanks for all the info.

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