The Western honey bee or Apis mellifera is a common insect around my parents garden in the South East Suburbs of Melbourne, being attracted to the pollen from the Grevillea banksii. The Western honey bee is a fascinating insect that is commercially used to produce honey. It also has a social caste system in addition to complex communication behaviours (e.g. dances to indicate food availability). Sadly it is also currently being affected due to colony collapse disorder.The bee's proved to be great subjects, with so many flying around the Grevillea it allowed me to stand near the large plant for more than 5 minutes taking photos

 People often think that the air we breath is relatively benign, but the reality could not be further from the truth. The air we breath is almost in itself another world which contains millions of microorganisms including fungi. Fungi is a microorganism which is ubiquitous around the world and for most people does not present a significant issue, however once allergies and / or immunosuppression kicks in it can become a bigger issue.The following images are of AGAR plates, the red plates are what is known as Blood Agar which typically grows fastidious bacteria and some fungi because of the variety of complex nutrients found

Butterflies are an insect that I have always wanted to try and get some photos of at home, however they are not typically in abundance in the sort of urban area I live in. A trip to the Butterfly house at the Melbourne Zoo gave a good opportunity to have a practice of taking photo's of the butterflies, with mixed results. As you can see below in some the focus worked well, whilst others I missed the focus which was a shame.The images were taken with a Nikon D5300, and this time a Sigma 150mm macro (but with no flash).

I noticed outside a number of jumping spiders, and having had some success with a black porcelain tile I thought it would be worth another try but with a different spider (last time was a flower spider). There are plenty of jumping spiders outside my house so I safely collected one, put it on the tile and started taking pictures as it wandered around the tile.The images were taken with a Nikon D5300 digital camera, and a Sigma 150mm Macro. Once I had finished I safely collected the jumping spider and put it back where I found it outside.Amusingly after I had placed it outside,

Truth be told I am actually not a huge spider fan, and I know this blog and my various photo collections would make people think otherwise but I really just take photos of spiders because in certain parts outside they are somewhat in excess. Having said that some of the spiders when you see them up so close are actually quite interesting, and vary so much in terms of their size, shape, and even character to a certain extent.I decided, after taking some Microscopy photos I would see if I could find something outside to have a look at under the microscope, but in looking

 Developing photographic techniques can be difficult, and there are often few places at home that give a good opportunity to master techniques. A trip to the Melbourne Zoo gave some inspiration, and I came across the Mandrill.This colorful creature almost enjoyed showing off (in my opinion) and alternated between turning towards me and away from me whilst I was trying to take its photograph. I did manage to get a few shots which highlight the magnificent colours of the Mandrill's face.The images themselves were taken with a Nikon D5300, and a Tamron 150-600mm Macro.