Tuesday, March 27, 2012

272. The Bees Knees

As promised, the Wasted Years 2012 invites designed by The Wizard and myself. I was responsible for photography and karate chop action, The Wizard plays all of the other hands, "Security Guard", and was responsible for the Photoshop work. Concept (GoldenEye, circa N64) was about 50/50, though the initial idea goes to The Wizard.

He's not just stunningly attractive, he's quite creative, too.

But we thought it was kind of perfect, since that's pretty much what everyone was doing with their free time back then. We were always holed up in someone-or-other's room, playing GoldenEye, and having heated debates over someone's cheap character selection of Oddjob.

Front side:

Right about now, you might be thinking to yourself, "Sheesh, the resolution on that image is awful!" That was an intentional effort to make it look more like screenshots from the game. The lions are a nod to both the university mascot, the atrocious film "Kids", and Mr. Joseph Brown.

We spent an afternoon in January roaming around campus during J-term, I guess. Almost no one was around, and the people who were looked like they were 20 and could care less who we were or what we were doing. I was really expecting to get kicked off campus by security, but we never saw anyone.

Here's one of the originals, larrger. Although, I think it lost a little definition in the upload to Blogger.
My favorite roof in the world...

It felt pretty good to climb around up there again. It was also pretty hysterical just how many empty bottles of Boones we found lying around. Some things never change.

And since I'm in the fulfilling promises I made sort of mood, let's talk BEES!
See my post from Saturday, if you have no idea what I'm talking about. But for those who do, I researched bees and crazy bee behavior. As it turns out, those were Carpenter Bees. They're a lot like Bumblebees, except they were definitely bigger, and they wear their fuzz more like a jacket than a full body suit.

I found a lot of different species of Carpenter Bee, but the ones I saw looked exactly like the Eastern Carpenter Bee. Cute little guy, don't you think? They're so round!

The male Carpenter Bee doesn't have a stinger. He's totally harmless, and very curious. The females do have stingers, but they really won't use them unless you try to grab them or provoke them somehow.

I didn't realize this, but not all bees live in tightly knit social structures like hives. Carpenter Bees are considered to be a solitary bee, which means that they usually live alone, burrowing a nest in things like dead wood. Being solitary doesn't mean they don't want company, though. They're social little things, and often build nests near one another so they can drop in on a neighbor every now and again. I actually really like that aspect, it sounds like the beginnings of a children's story. The sort that's drawn in pen and then painted over in watercolors, where the bees wear smart vests with hats, and occasionally spectacles.

From what I was able to determine, I believe the bee who was busy collecting pollen was a female. It seems that they're pretty responsible for foraging, while males generally only collect enough pollen for themselves to eat. The hover-helicopter bee was probably a male. It's spring, so it's possible he was in love with The Pollenista, but from what I could see, he was behaving like a perfect gentleman.

It's apparently common for them to hover around their territory to guard their flowers and keep an eye out for available lady-bees. Occasionally, they'll try to mate with other varieties of insects and small birds. HA! Also, they're so curious that if you throw a small pebble past them, they'll often fly after it to try and investigate. Adorable.

1 comment:

Joshua De La Noco said...

Oh My God! I love these little guys. You're right too, they sound so very "Wind in the Willows." Favorite. Bee-Post. Ever.