Hymenoptera at Sunset

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Last night I went for a ramble at Iona Beach in Richmond BC, looking for insects and inspiration in the sand dunes. I knew the sunset would be pretty, as there was a bit of light wispy cloud in the west, so I hurried out to the end of the beach where restoration efforts hadn’t ripped up the ground.

I found my subjects attaching themselves to twigs and vegetation, bedding down for the night.

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Coelioxys spp. (Megachilidae) preparing to attach to a dead, dried flowerhead. Next time you go for a sunset beach stroll, have a look for these and other sleeping insects!

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If you are a photographer, the combination of the setting sun and your flash can do wonderful things to highlight your subjects.

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An Ammophila wasp (Sphecidae), shot without flash, is but a silhouette against the darkening sky.

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I am not sure, but I think I may have gone overboard with this session! It seems like it could be an ad for a tropical beach vacation for insects.

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This slender and elegant caterpillar hunter is fast and nervous in the day, but wonderfully calm in the evening.

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As the light was failing, so were my flash batteries, but this unplanned blur of a cluster of male Colletes males is still cool!

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There are so many bees on this flower that it sags to the ground!

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The Colletes cluster against the darkening sky of night.

Next time you go for an evening stroll on a sandy beach, head up to the dune vegetation, and have a look for these wonderful sleeping wasps and bees!

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