Monthly Program – April 2013 – Pollinators

Monday, April 8, 2013 Arboretum Instructor Ken Thompson and Susan Schmitz – MAPS member and Trials and Education Manager for Ball Horticultural provided a terrific evening of education to 87 MAPS members and guests on beekeeping and pollinator habit & photography.

Susan discussed the what, why, where, and when of pollinators – which included what they are (variety of insects, butterflies, hummingbirds, etc.), why they are so important and where/when to find them (favorite habitats, basic life cycles).

Susan shared the following information on pollinators and beekeeping with the members:

‘The Xerces Society Guide Attracting Native Pollinators’, Storey Publishing, 2011 – excellent book on insect pollinators.

Natl. Pollinator Week is June 17-23, 2013

Ken covered photographing these critters, both in nature and for the honey bees, at hives; with beekeeping photos from The Morton Arboretum plus some photos of bees on flowers, butterflies, and hummingbirds.  Some of the key points from Ken for capturing the flying critters (vs. perched): off-camera flash rig, 200-300 mm lens, extension tubes, monopod and shot with shutter priority @1/250 sec., flash @ -2/3 stop, ISO to get to f/8 (watch your backgrounds).  You may need to push ISO to 800 to capture hummingbirds in flight – but always with the flash! And learn to have patience, move slowly, avoid sudden movements and wait!