Between these being quite prolific and always available on the ground (this one was smushed by the car in front of me on our county road).....
....and my hammock breaking the moment I got comfy and dumping me roughly on my tailbone on the ground.....
...it has been kind of a startling and painful few days.
Our biggest worry is this new hive of bees that has moved into one of our bird houses. I took all these photos by driving up to the bees in my truck with the windows up and using a telephoto lens through the glass.
Adam and I noticed that a bee hive might be taking over a bird house about a week ago. I went back out with my camera twice to try to photograph them, but they weren't there any more. I guess they came back, though. When Adam and some guests were shooting out in the meadow (Not at the bees- we're bee friendly. We realize they are an invaluable part of the ecosystem and would never want to run them off.) this weekend, the noise and proximity to the hive must have disturbed the bees. They attacked and everyone got stung. They were quite aggressive and followed people quite a long ways from the hive.
However bee-friendly we might be, Africanized Honey Bees, or Killer Bees, are not so welcome here. They have spread quickly northward from Mexico over the last 20 or so years, and can be extremely dangerous. I read that they're basically a regular honey bee, but the Africanized type pose a greater danger because they are much more aggressive, have more 'guard bees' than an average hive, and will follow you a much greater distance away from the hive. People are in the most danger when attacked by large numbers of them.
I don't know if ours are killer bees or not. I sent some of these photos to our county extension office. They said they're definitely bees and gave me the number of their beekeeper. Maybe they can relocate them on our property, but these are pretty close to our home.
We'll see what he has to say!