Hymenoptera at Sunset


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.


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!


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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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