21st Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
A Bee Eater catching a Bee

On a recent trip to Slovenia, my wife and I decided to stay for a few nights at a winery (I like photography, she likes wine…a win win). Adjacent to the winery was a vineyard. Little did I know, that the vineyard became a fabulous backdrop for not only landscape images, but Bee Eater activity. While we were having a lovely breakfast outdoors, I noticed Bee Eaters zipping around, catching bees and other insects, then the behavior was apparent. They would bring the bee to a branch, toss it in the air, and catch it such that they can smack it to get the stinger and venom out. Then, they would either eat the insect itself, or present it to their intended mate. This behavior became predictable enough that I was able to get this shot while my wife was choosing her wine for dinner.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 05.2023
Date Uploaded: 11.2023
Photo Location: Ljubljana, Solomon Islands
Camera: NIKON Z 9
Copyright: © Conrad Peloquin