Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

National Moth Week photos of insects and people. Here's how to add your images.

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 BugGuide Gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Darker Honeybees - Apis mellifera - female

Darker Honeybees - Apis mellifera - Female
Lake Placid - Archbold, Highlands County, Florida, USA
September 6, 2008
I have noticed when photographing honeybees in my area there are two color patterns. The more common has orange/gold as the predominate abdomen color. This one, which I see in different areas, has a darker appearance with hair that is more beige. I do see the darker ones fairly regularly but they are always the minority. Reading in the guide I saw mention of German honey bees - Apis mellifera mellifera. Would this be one, or am I simply seeing color variation between individuals in the same subspecies? Thanks.

Images of this individual: tag all
Darker Honeybees - Apis mellifera - female Darker Honeybees - Apis mellifera

Spectacular shots!
This is a wonderful 'in flight' shot! It (along with your other in flight photos) was obviously not staged either. Whats your secret?

Thanks and
there is no real secret. I use a manual focus macro lens for insect photos. If the insect is in flight it is next to impossible to focus before they have moved (hovering dragonflies are a rare exception). Instead I try to watch and predict where I may be able to get my shot. In this case I chose a flower, prefocused, and waited for my opportunity. A small aperture and powerful flash, even in bright daylight, also help. I find I have more success with bees as they are approaching a flower rather than when they are leaving. Oh, and the most important secret is to take lots and lots of photos and only show anyone the good ones!


But do hang on to the not-so-good ones.
Often, some detail in one of them can trigger or solidify an ID. And hey, they can always be frassed later.

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.