This past week much of SE Asia had their version of New Year’s celebrations. Sadly, we weren’t there this year, but here are some photos from a mid-river party we came across in Laos a few years ago which give a pretty good idea of what the feeling is like:
Today I imagine a SE Asia-wide hangover. Even so, Happy New Year, wherever you are!
A couple of local pollinators drink from the birdbath.
How do you take photos of bees drinking? In this case, with a 300mm lens, a 1.4 teleconverter and a macro tube at 1/640 of a second (interesting fact: at 1/500 of a second, these bees’ wings moved too fast to register in photos).
In the end that’s none too important. Why do I like this? I’ve never seen bees drink before; and you can see the ripples caused by the downdraft keeping the hovering bee aloft. Simple wonders of nature.
Sadly, many bee populations across the country have collapsed for reasons that are just now coming to light. A main one appears to be pesticides sprayed on corn and other food crops, even though many food crops are genetically modified to resist bugs in the first place (or not). The irony is that corn – and most other plants – rely on bugs like bees for pollination.
While I have no proof, I would hazard a guess that someone, somewhere, is working on a solution to this very problem – say, a genetically modified bee, one resistant to pesticides. But my guess is you will have to buy them every year, and you may be sued if you have modified bees in your fields without a licence.
The people of Vientiane are a friendly lot, and don’t ask too much. So would you please follow the signs?