For nearly three years I have been on a quest to photograph the virescent green metallic bee. They are not particularly uncommon, but they are small and quick - and despite my unusual attention to the small denizens of the insect world, I have only caught glimpses of them.
I had hoped to catch a photo of the tiny creature with my high-speed camera system - which requires considerable planning and time. Good fortune smiled upon me, however, in the middle of an assignment to photograph honey bees.
So I had all of the complex equipment that I use to take high-speed images set-up and ready to go when I spied the magnificent emerald flash of a green metallic bee among a field of flowers buzzing with insects.
I continue to find it remarkable how life on such a small scale can be so vibrant and intense.
This bee also reminds me of an even smaller insect that I photographed last year - the cuckoo wasp. This little insect has an intensely green exoskeleton that is also extremely thick and tough. It must be durable because part of its life cycle requires it to sneak into the heart of a bee hive and hijack a larval cell for its own use. If it is discovered, it will need a thick hide to survive the attacking bees.
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