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Last year, at about this time, I wrote a little about our native bees. Though I’m glad to have done my little bit to promote the existence of these all too anonymous members of our natural heritage  I’ve always felt a little embarrassed by the photos in that post. As I admitted at the time the photos are staged. Photographing our twitchy little bees is hard – apart from being small, they zip about from flower to flower much more quickly than I can line up, let alone focus, shots.

So, to illustrate the original post I used half-drowned bees, scooped out from a swimming pool. The time it took the bees to dry out gave me a chance to take the photos, but I set them up on exactly the type of flower they’d never visit in the wild. So, not only did I cheat, but the photos I took actively misled about the true nature of bees!

So, here are some much worse photographs of native bees that do a much better job of representing their lifestyles. First off, a bee perched on a favourite flower, a hebe,  and deciding on its next move:

 

and another collecting pollen from the same plant:
These hebes, and a few parsley plants left to go to flower, make my parent’s house in the Wairarapa a mecca for native bees. They certainly make their mark around the garden, if you don’t notice them drowned in the pool or visiting flowers you can see their nests in the soil: