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05-06-2015, 05:43 AM   #16
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I have contacts on Flickr who do stacked images in the field, though they are typically subjects like damselflies and others which "sleep" overnight. Some other insects will sit still long enough to get a series of shots but it's rare. If you're careful you can also cool insects down to get images while they're lethargic. But these extreme magnification stacks pretty much require deceased subjects. If we combine the new super-resolution technology with the stacking techniques we should see some stunning images.

Interestingly, bumblebees and many others are endothermic, and can keep their thorax 30 degrees F above ambient. Some bumbles are arctic dwellers, and nearly all are temperate climate adapted, and between insulated dwellings and their metabolism can be active well before most other pollinators on cool mornings. It also means many bumbles have troubles on hot days, so larger colonies will have a variety of worker sizes - smaller is more efficient in the heat.

06-06-2015, 07:38 AM   #17
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I'd like to put up a bee house, but worry about wasps taking it over; is this a likelihood?
06-09-2015, 05:45 AM   #18
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Keep it small. Roughly 30% of bees nest in twigs, reeds etc. The others mostly are ground nesters, and some are cavity nesters.

The biggest risk I've read about with the big "bee hotels" is parasites like mites. Larger is just more convenient. Smaller is less likely to have rampant disease or pests.

If you can, when you trim back stalks etc at the end of the season just leave a foot or so sticking out of the ground and the little twig nesters will find them. If you want to build a twig nester habitat, you can simply stick leftover stalks (from hyssop etc) in the ground or a pot in a protected area, and the bees will find them. Some wasps also use reeds etc. but they won't be the wasps you're worried about. You may not be able to tell they're not bees unless you look very closely.

The semi-social wasps like yellow jackets, mud daubers etc. will build their own nests wherever they can find a protected overhang, or under siding etc. they don't use the bee hotel setup usually. I have seen some build under an overhang in that kind of setup - under the roof peak.

Keep it small, you'll be OK. Once you start seeing the holes in cut stems you'll see the bee nests everywhere. Rose bushes, berries, shrubs...the little osmia, lasoglossum, etc. are very industrious.
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