The Samurai bee and the red ninja horde

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Even without the hordes of tiny, red six-legged monsters stealthily climbing the flower stems, preparing for the attack, this is a pretty cool shot. But it’s a lot better with the thousands of tiny, red six-legged beasties quietly climbing upwards to gain their prize… I assume they crave the moist, succulent flesh of the bumblebee. I know, looking at it just sitting there, defenceless, I’m having some cravings.


Technical Stuff: Hi there. My camera is roughly the size of a regular bar of soap. The lens is slightly smaller than a dime. I just thought I’d point that out because, damn, I make it work baby. I was shooting the flowers, saw the bee flying around and when it landed I took this shot. Then it took off across the street. I didn’t see the red menace until I was cropping the shot — this is 3/5th of the whole photo.


The way those red beasties are positioned, it looks like they might be sucking the juices out of the flower stems. Either that or they’re all doing handstands… I don’t really know red bug behaviour all that well. Seriously, if I walked into a bar and saw one drinking alone at a table in the back, I’d totally leave him alone because I wouldn’t know if he was about to go off and pull a gun, or buy a round for the bar. I’d probably just leave. Or, if it was a nice place, step on him.


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About Gabriel

I’ve lived in more than fifty places. I've been paid to pick stones out of fields, take backstage photos of Britney Spears, and report on Internet privacy issues. My photos have been published in several newspapers, and a couple of magazines.
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4 Responses to The Samurai bee and the red ninja horde

  1. Diane says:

    It really is one of the most surprising photos….I only saw the bee until you pointed out all of those little guys….I have never seen a mite so to see that many on a flower, very interesting. x

  2. Gabriel says:

    Crazy… turns out I was right, they are “mites” — basically horribly, horribly deformed aphids, there’s a photo almost as cool as this on Wikipedia. I don’t know about this species, but there are mites who live off bees, so maybe the little one on the flower is getting ready to take a ride. I think I actually have a photo of a mite on the back of a bee… I know I have one of a mite living on the back of a preying mantis. Cheeky little bastards.

  3. Diane says:

    The ones here are Red Velvet Mites I believe…..they are similar in appearance to the Spider Mite….either way they are all very creepy but again at the same time interesting.

  4. Pingback: Enviro-mental Cat | cultural sn:afu

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