Readers’ wildlife photos

UPDATE: Kit sent in some Facebook videos for your further edification:

Kit introduces you to a female Amegilla dawsoni

Kit introducing a “minor” male Amegilla dawsoni

Kit introducing a “major” male Amegilla dawsoni.

______________________

Reader Kit Prendergast, a bee researcher from Australia. sent me some nice bee photos and a teaser: I didn’t know why these bees were, as she said, so amazing. But then I watched the Attenborough video, which I’ve put at the bottom. BE SURE to watch it! (The bees are also known as “Dawson’s burrowing bee”).

Kit’s words are indented:

Please find attached a few photos of one of the most amazing of bees Amegilla dawsoni, which was featured on a BBC docco narrated by David Attenborough. I recently went to Carnarvon to see them and assist another bee research who was studying them. Best experience of my life!

Kit as “beecatcher”:

Note below that reader Michael has dug up a video in which Kit gives a lecture about the importance of bees, all while wearing a full bee costume.

Beautiful bees and beautiful photos, right? Now hear about the murderous mating frenzy of this species.

[BBC notes: “For the BBC series LIFE. Narrated by David Attenborough, produced by Rupert Barrington, scientific consultant Victoria Cartelidge, research Adam Scott cinematography Peter Nearhos. Filmed at the Kennedy Ranges in Western Australia.”]

24 Comments

  1. BobTerrace
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Buzzzzz!

  2. Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Game of Drones.

  3. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Bee cool!

  4. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Males all fighting over the females? Just like Glasgow on a Saturday night, then…

    😉

    cr

  5. Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    How buzzarre!

  6. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Here below is Kit doing her excellent stage thing in full bee costume. Video notes:

    Kit Prendergast from Curtin University brought a buzz and a colourful costume to the FameLab Australia stage with research that hopes to protect native bees. She investigates native bees in their natural environments within a ‘biodiversity hot-spot’ in southwest WA. With this research, Kit Prendergast hopes to answer the question of how native bees can be protected. With a central role in ecosystems, protecting bees is more than just a buzzword.

    FameLab Australia National Final took place on Wednesday 8 May 2019 in Perth. FameLab is a celebration of science, created by Cheltenham Festival and produced in Australia by the Foundation for the WA Museum with international partner British Council.

    Thank you Kit for the post notes, bee pics & the excellent pun-filled FameLab presentation.

    • Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      How wonderful!

    • Posted August 11, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      So FameLab in Australia is similar to Fermilab’s Physics Slam?

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        Similar, but the influence is perhaps in the other direction

        The Fermilab annual particle physics slam dates back to 2011 & they borrowed the idea from the Max Planck Institute for Physics, Germany who started running slams a few years before 2011 [can’t find the actual year – I’m short on time]. Physics slams & science slams generally are everywhere today.

        FameLab started in the UK in 2005 at the Cheltenham Science Festival & I think the FameLab/Fermilab name similarity might be coincidence [I dunno] or it’s drawn from the 1980 Fame movie or the TV series that followed – a solid meme that’s still used. Or it’s a combo.

        Concept is similar with Physics ‘Slammers’ getting 12 minutes each, whereas the FameLab clock is only three mins.

    • rickflick
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Excellent teaching mode. The ASC looks a bit like TED.

  7. BJ
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Bees are already amazing creatures, and these are amazing bees! You have to be a brave soul to go insect hunting in Australia. Good on ya, Kit! Thanks for your important work.

    David Attenborough is such a legend. I associate him with so many beautiful, wondrous things, both in the world and in my life: nature, learning, soothing, much more. His is one death that will truly hit me hard when it comes. I grew up voraciously devouring every documentary of his I could find on TV (thankfully, PBS was always airing his work) and, once the internet was fast enough for video, I would spend hours on there watching his beautifully narrated efforts. I still do to this day.

  8. Liz
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    This is really neat. Saw this a few months ago and had to rewind to watch it again. Thank you for sharing!

  9. Frank Bath
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Thank you. The frenetic buzzing makes it a wonderful watch.

    • Posted August 11, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      I wonder if that buzzing was really coming from those bees. It might have, but most sound effects for those documentaries are made by people in the studio long after filming.

  10. Janet
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    This is awesome to know about, thank you!

  11. Posted August 11, 2019 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    This is wonderful, Kit. Thanks!

  12. Mark R.
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful bees with an intense life cycle. I wonder if they have any natural predators. It seems their colony is very conspicuous. Thanks Kit, for sharing your wonderful experience with these stunning insects.

  13. Jenny Haniver
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Fascinating to learn about these bees and super to hear your talk in full bee costume.

  14. tjeales
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Yay Kit, nice shots and a beautiful subject. Good to see your work featured here.

  15. Posted August 11, 2019 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Thank you every one for commenting, love hearing how you’re enjoying the photos and videos 🙂 xo

  16. Posted August 11, 2019 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Kit is pretty much a star here in WA for her bee research

  17. Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Great stuff! I did not know about the male story, which was ‘off the chain’.


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