THE BEE PHOTOGRAPHER

Éric Tourneret

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bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR001

Near a pond’s edge, a water-carrier bee collects the precious liquid.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR002

Near a pond’s edge, a water-carrier bee collects the precious liquid.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR003

A group of about 100 bees comes to get water on common water-crowfoot flowers. On hot days when the wind dries the vegetation, foragers play water carriers and fly back and forth to hydrate thirsty workers.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR004

Foragers approaching
their hive in a colza field.

 

The bee's muscles allow
it to flap its wings
400 to 500 times
per second to allow
a speed of 25 to 30
kilometers per hour
with its maximum
payload.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR005

A water-carrier bee makes a fatal error and struggles to keep from drowning.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR006

A bee siphons water from a droplet on a leaf. Some pollen-gathering bees specialize in water collection, but this is by no means widespread behavior.
It is a dangerous activity for bees, and it is common to see dead bees that have fallen into the water and drowned.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR007

Two bees practice mouth-to-mouth food transfer called trophallaxis in social insects. Bees not only transfer food but also a multitude of chemical substances, hormones which help communication in the colony.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR008

Buildings combs. Bees use 8 to 9 kilos of honey and pollen to produce one kilogram of wax. Wax is produced by eight abdominal glands turning out tiny 0.2 mm specks. The building of 80,000 cells requires 80,000 hours of work and 991,000 specks of wax.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR009

Detail of a wing magnified
65X using a scanning
electron microscope.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR010

Supported by duckweed, bees fill their crops to bring water back to the hive.
A hive needs five to six liters of water per day in midsummer.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR011

Supported by duckweed, bees fill their crops to bring water back to the hive.
A hive needs five to six liters of water per day in midsummer.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR012

Supported by duckweed, bees fill their crops to bring water back to the hive.
A hive needs five to six liters of water per day in midsummer.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR013

Just after birth, a young bee, not yet fully pigmented, approaches
the honey reserves for its first meal. Its principal food will continue to be pollen.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR014

Suspended from the hive, the bees hang from one another to better allow air flow generated by the fanners to circulate throughout the comb when temperatures are too warm.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR015

Suspended from the hive, the bees hang from one another to better allow air flow generated by the fanners to circulate throughout the comb when temperatures are too warm.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR016

The generous three-week
flowering period of colza
offers colonies rapid
demographic growth.
A forager flies back
to the beehive
with a crop full of nectar
as its fellow bees
frenetically fan
the flight board
to regulate temperature
inside the colony.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR017

Using its powerful mandibles, this bee has just cut through the wax cap which protected its cell during its transformation from larva into nymph.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR018

Using its powerful mandibles, this bee has just cut through the wax cap which protected its cell during its transformation from larva into nymph.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR019

Using its powerful mandibles, this bee has just cut through the wax cap which protected its cell during its transformation from larva into nymph.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR020

Always building
from the top down,
bees hang from one
another using their
back legs to form
long chains.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR021

Antennae play an important role in bee communication.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR022

Larvae and future bees develop on a broodcomb where the eggs have been laid. In the center, the nursing bees take care of keeping a constant temperature by contracting their chest muscles which will raise their body temperature. The central brooding nest is surrounded by orange pollens filled cells. The colony needs 30 to 40 kilograms of pollen to rear the brood.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR023

A week after their combs were capped, well fed larvae have started pupating into fully formed nymphs.
Twelve days after the beginning of this rest, a young bee is born.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR024

Cells filled with honey and pollen.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR025

The brood with cells filled with eggs and larvae, as well as cells full of pollen.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR026

A guard on the flight board,
braced on its hind legs,
its checks a returning
forager to make sure
it belongs to the colony.
This position of the guard
expresses potential danger.
The bees have a keen
sense of smell allowing
them to identify each other.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR027

Frontal view of a bee
magnified 22 times
under a scanning
electron microscope.
The body of the bee
is covered in hairs
particularly adapted
to the harvesting
of pollen. Incidentally
it makes the Apis
mellifera an excellent
pollinator.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR028

A beekeeper holds a handful of drones collected on the take-off board at summer’s end, when they are expelled by the bees of the hive.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR029

A bee greets a drone as it is being born. The bee will feed the drone directly from its mouth as the newborn is exhausted by the effort produced to come out of the cell. One can clearly see a difference in size in the faceted-eyes of the bee and drone. The worker bee's eyes have 4,500 facets each and the drone 7,500 per eye.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR030

Drones are the only males
of the colony which counts
a few hundreds of them.
They are larger, rounder
and hairier thatn workers
and do not have a stinger.
They live in the beehive
from spring to the end
of summer. They are in
charge of fecundating
the queen.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR031

Drones are the only males
of the colony which counts
a few hundreds of them.
They are larger, rounder
and hairier thatn workers
and do not have a stinger.
They live in the beehive
from spring to the end
of summer. They are in
charge of fecundating
the queen.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR032

The hive guard bees keep watch, ready to defend the sanctuary entrance from enemies or, more often, from bees of other hives.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR033

An egg on the transferring tool used for picking in queen bee breeding.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR034

An egg on the transferring tool used for picking in queen bee breeding.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR035

Detail of the hind leg
of a bee
appearing
as a hook
when magnified
70 times
under a scanning
electron microscope.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR036

The fecundated egg is placed vertically in the cell. The narrow end sticks to the bottom and the larger end stands along the axis of the cell.
After three days, the egg falls and turns into a larva. Abundantly fed (over 110 times) subjects to attentive care, a larva receives 1300 visits a day until the bees seal the cell with a rounded wax cap.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR037

Multitude. A healthy colony counts about 40,000 bees of all ages during the active season. 300 to 400 workers die everyday, all the bees of a bee hive are thus replaced over a period of four months.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR038

Bee mandibles magnified 70X.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR039

Multitude. A healthy colony counts about 40,000 bees of all ages during the active season. 300 to 400 workers die everyday, all the bees of a bee hive are thus replaced over a period of four months.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR040

The birth of a bee rapidly unfolds.
After having cut the cell cap with its mandibles then grated the edges to widen the opening, the young bee manages to free its front legs for support and extract the remainder of its body.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR041

The birth of a bee rapidly unfolds.
After having cut the cell cap with its mandibles then grated the edges to widen the opening, the young bee manages to free its front legs for support and extract the remainder of its body.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR042

The birth of a bee rapidly unfolds.
After having cut the cell cap with its mandibles then grated the edges to widen the opening, the young bee manages to free its front legs for support and extract the remainder of its body.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR043

The birth of a bee rapidly unfolds.
After having cut the cell cap with its mandibles then grated the edges to widen the opening, the young bee manages to free its front legs for support and extract the remainder of its body.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR044

Bee eye magnified 270 times.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR045

Bee eye
magnified 70 times.

 

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR046

Rear leg of a bee
magnified 70 times.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR047

Driven insane by honey on a comb left in the open, the bees feast on honey and pillage the combs. They have become aggressive and their excitement soon spreads to the entire apiary.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR048

Buildings combs.
Bees use 8 to 9 kilos
of honey and pollen
to produce one kilogram
of wax. Wax is produced
by eight abdominal glands
turning out tiny 0.2 mm
specks. The building
of 80,000 cells requires
80,000 hours of work
and 991,000 specks
of wax.

 

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR049

Buildings combs.
Bees use 8 to 9 kilos
of honey and pollen
to produce one kilogram
of wax. Wax is produced
by eight abdominal glands
turning out tiny 0.2 mm
specks. The building
of 80,000 cells requires
80,000 hours of work
and 991,000 specks
of wax.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR050

Stampede on the flight board.
Observing intense bee activity from inside the beehive. Loaded with pollen, foragers return from their morning round.
White or orange pollen, each bee concentrates on one flower species.
A forager weigh 100 milligrams and can fly with a load of up to 70 milligrams.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR051

The birth of a bee rapidly unfolds.
After having cut the cell cap with its mandibles then grated the edges to widen the opening, the young bee manages to free its front legs for support and extract the remainder of its body.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR052

A bee greets a drone as it is being born.
The bee will feed the drone directly from its mouth as the newborn is exhausted by the effort produced to come out of the cell. One can clearly see a difference in size in the faceted-eyes of the bee and drone. The worker bee's eyes
have 4,500 facets each and the drone 7,500 per eye.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR053

A bee greets a drone as it is being born.
The bee will feed the drone directly from its mouth as the newborn is exhausted by the effort produced to come out of the cell. One can clearly see a difference in size in the faceted-eyes of the bee and drone. The worker bee's eyes
have 4,500 facets each and the drone 7,500 per eye.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR054

A bee greets a drone as it is being born.
The bee will feed the drone directly from its mouth as the newborn is exhausted by the effort produced to come out of the cell. One can clearly see a difference in size in the faceted-eyes of the bee and drone. The worker bee's eyes
have 4,500 facets each and the drone 7,500 per eye.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR055

By great heat or when they have collected large quantities of nectar, bees flap their wings to renew the artmosphere of the beehive.
Ventilation is part of the honey making process.
The nectar collected contains 50% humidity. It is ventilated to be gradually dehydrated. It becomes honey when its water contents has dropped to 17%.

bees © Éric Tourneret

 

LVR056

Bees on the way to the hive during a big nectar flow.