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Old Worker Bee – Worn Out!

Worn Out Worker Bee

Life of hard work

This is an old worker bee, one of the class of hairy social insects Bombus lapidarius that buzz and bumble from flower to flower. It can sting but is a reluctant abuser, more likely to retreat than advance. Bees work for their supper and in support of its group. In the process they pollinate in the wild along with our cultivated crops. A world without bees would be a lonely (and hungry) place for humans as well.

Shot with the L-series Canon EF 100mm 2.8 IS USM lens at ISO 400, f6.7, 1/45 sec. Dying of old age I suspect, it cooperated in my photographic intrusions, flicking antennae, crawling weakly, stopping to rest, looking up then down again. Over ten minutes I took many images along with the last few minutes of this old fellow’s life, then worked only this one for the strong detail and sharply focused eye. Of what or of nothing in its life and its dying was that old worn out worker bee aware?