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Photo Info

Dimensions7528 x 3764
Original file size5.92 MB
Image typeJPEG
Color spacesRGB
Date taken13-Jun-21 19:13
Date modified25-Dec-22 13:11
Shooting Conditions

Camera modelNIKON D850
Focal length200 mm
Focal length (35mm)200 mm
Max lens aperturef/4.8
Exposure1/640 at f/8
FlashNot fired
Exposure bias-1/3 EV
Exposure modeAuto
Exposure prog.Aperture priority
ISO speedISO 400
Metering modePattern
Bumblebee on Milkweed_J1F8707

Bumblebee on Milkweed_J1F8707

Photographing nature teaches me. It is not uncommon for me to notice something when processing an image that I didn't notice while taking it.

See the tiny orange colored U-shaped thing stuck to the Bumblebee's foot? I didn't notice it until I was processing the image. Curiosity took over and I did some research.

It is a part of the Milkweed flower call a "Pollinarium", a structure found tucked into the sides of each Milkweed flower. It is the means by which pollen is transferred from one Milkweed to another. The process starts when a bee lands on a flower in a manner that its foot comes into contact with a Pollinarium. The Pollinarium becomes stuck to the foot. Really stuck. So stuck that it takes a strong insect to pull away once entangled, thus disengaging the Pollinarium from the flower. The Pollinarium is composed, in part, of those 2 saddlebag-like sacs you see. Each sac is full of pollen and known as the Pollinia.

When the bee flies to another milkweed, if the foot lands in just the right place the Pollinarium will be deposited into the "Stigmatic Chamber" where the female flower parts are housed. The arms holding the Pollinia in place then are broken off by the bees departure and the pollen delivered to the stigma.

There is actually much more to this fascinating process, which you can read about in detail HERE.

Location: Burke Lake Park, Fairfax, VA