Skopein: Scottish Bumblebee Mites


Zoom in on this bees thorax to see a pair of mites (click for full size).



A close inspection reveals several mites, if one looks very carefully. This photograph of a humble bee taken near Loch Ness.

The full range of mites’ effects on bumblebees are varied and largely unknown, but run the gamut from parasitism to potential specialised mutualisms.. The above photos are headed to Bee Watch, a citizen science venture at Aberdeen University in association with the BumbleBee Conservation Trust


Σκοπεΐν, Scindere, Machen


Σκοπεΐ (skopein), Scindere, Machen

Regular readers of the site (all five of them, hi Mom!) may have noticed a mass migration of additional posts appearing on theScinder in the past few weeks. The 3D-printing and macrophotography work by theBilder has merged with theScinder for a wholesome presence exemplifying the three-wise aspects of tool-wielding apes: Σκοπεΐν, Scindere, and Machen. Thematically translated: see, think, make. Along with the webtragicomic guessesAndGivens, these will be the three main themes on theScinder.

We’ve got some fun stuff in store for the next few months. . .

Ant Farm

Some photos from last summer: entomological agriculture on a nice plot of thistle. No Lieberkühn here! Just strong summer sunlight, an influence I strongly miss as we near the shortest day in the northern hemisphere and I continue to adjust to a home base in Scotland.

Click through for full resolution.




gifs for Z-stacks?

I am gearing up for tests of a new iteration of my Lieberkühn reflector for 58mm diameter, f=35mm lens for macrophotography. This will be my first print in Shapeways bronzed steel material. In the meantime, enjoy some Lieberkühn enhanced macrophotography, in gif format.

The subject is the lovely Osmia aglaia, a beautiful blue solitary bee from North America. Compression for the GIF format does some fuzzy things to the photos, but it was still worth the experiment for a simple way to display z-stacks. Click for larger versions.





I’ve also recently launched a new double threaded lens cap: stays on the lens when bumped or carried, and now each lens cap fits two standard lens diameters instead of one. They are available here in a variety of sizes, and you can see the firm attachment compared to squeeze lens caps demoed here . I have only tested this design out in the lens diameters I and a few friends own and use. I now need more photographers to try it out and provide feedback. With this in mind I will keep the Shapeways price as low as possible until some more theBilder threaded lens caps have had a run in the wild!