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Neon Cuckoo Bee

Discussion in 'Nature' started by MarkB1, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. MarkB1

    MarkB1 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    546
    Oct 30, 2010
    Australia
    She is a most elusive creature in my experience, this Neon Cuckoo Bee. I have probably seen only one other of these bees and she was on the move, too fast to track or shoot. When I got back from a week away I went to a few places I know to see if the bees had started to show. I saw roosting Nomads, in numbers, and increasing still, but only one Leafcutter and no Blue Banded bees.

    Then, after a few days looking, I saw this little black dot swaying on the grass tops in the wind at dusk and I knew here was something new. I approached slowly so as not to spook the creature and got close enough to see the blue and black beauty she is. But she was wary and took to the air and was lost (to my older eyes) in the clutter of background plants and shadows.

    I went away and came back a few times only for the same thing to happen but was pleased to see the perch had been selected; she was coming back to it after being disturbed. So I got up early next morning and arrived before the sun came up and there she was.

    Quietly, gently I approached from the side I wanted to start shooting from, getting lower as I got nearer, camera ready in hand. And just as I was reaching out to gently grip the stalk of grass off she flew.

    Again at dusk, the same day, I went back to the spot and there she was. As I got closer I saw the first Blue Banded Bee of this season and it was buzzing the Neon Cuckoo Bee, literally. The BBB flew up to the face of the NCB and the little dark beauty took no notice. The BBB did this a few times before flying off to its own roost, an indication of their relationship no doubt.

    I got down on one knee, a courtesy you could say, and went to work with her for about an hour before the light was gone, and I was pleased with the meeting, a privileged encounter you could say.

    The next day she was gone and there hasn’t been another. Another season perhaps, who knows.

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    • Like Like x 12
  2. Wormwood

    Wormwood Mu-43 Regular

    101
    Aug 17, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    Pure fantastic! What area of Au are you located in Mark?

    What was the set-up for those captures?


    Wormwood
     
  3. dave

    dave Mu-43 Regular

    52
    Jan 30, 2012
    Very nice indeed, beautiful, what setup did you use for this capture.
     
  4. dpj

    dpj Mu-43 Regular

    142
    Jul 20, 2011
    Stunning photos of a lovely looking lady an LLL if you like ;D
     
  5. MarkB1

    MarkB1 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    546
    Oct 30, 2010
    Australia
    G'day W. I'm in Bris, SE by the water. I am lucky with the undeveloped land around here, almost rural in ways - and out of the way.

    Check the 2nd link in my sig for the rundown, it's all there except the variables that you work out as you go.
     
  6. MarkB1

    MarkB1 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    546
    Oct 30, 2010
    Australia
    Thanks Dave. See 2nd link in sig for the rundown on my approach.
     
  7. MarkB1

    MarkB1 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    546
    Oct 30, 2010
    Australia
    Yes, a LLL. :) But with some 'bad' habits. She parasitises the nest of the Blue Banded Bee, a cradle robber you could say.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. dpj

    dpj Mu-43 Regular

    142
    Jul 20, 2011
    ^^Well everyday is a school day, thanks :D
     
  9. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Debi
    Amazing shots of an amazing creature. You, sir, are a dedicated photographer!
     
  10. MarkB1

    MarkB1 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    546
    Oct 30, 2010
    Australia
    Thanks all, much appreciated.