Have you ever pondered the mysteries of when and how insects sleep? Despite their constant buzzing throughout the day, the idea of insects taking a nap might not have crossed your mind. However, nature photographer Joe Neely has shed light on this fascinating aspect of insect behavior, particularly that of bees. Neely managed to capture a heartwarming image of two globe mallow bees peacefully snoozing inside the vibrant petals of a globe mallow flower. This enchanting scene, adorned with orange-crimson blooms, almost seems too idyllic to be genuine.
The fortuitous encounter with the sleeping bees occurred during springtime. Neely and his wife Niccole, both enthusiastic nature photographers, embarked on a quest for Mexican poppy wildflowers. Despite finding the fields empty, they stumbled upon a roadside grove of flowers, prompting them to pause and capture the beauty through their lenses. As Niccole searched for the perfect flower, she noticed bees nestled within the orange globe mallow blooms. Intrigued, Neely joined her and observed the bees, even as the sunset.
The spectacle unfolded as more bees sought refuge in the flowers, eventually leading to all the blossoms on the plant hosting motionless occupants. Neely marveled at this behavior, expressing that he had never witnessed such a phenomenon before. With the darkening sunset, a lone bee struggled to find an unoccupied flower. Left with no other choice, it nestled into the petals with another bee, which graciously shifted to make room.
Recognizing the opportunity for a perfect shot, Neely swiftly retrieved his macro photography equipment and captured several images. The contrasting hues of the bees’ blue eyes against the vibrant orange flowers created a stunning visual impact. It wasn’t until later at home that Neely delved into the unique behavior of these bees, discovering that, unlike some species that retire to hives at night, these globe-mallow bees often choose to sleep within the very flowers that bear their name. As Neely’s photographs beautifully showcase, these bees sometimes share this cozy space with a sleeping buddy.