Wood Bee

There is a cabin I like to visit deep in the heart of the central North Carolina forest, there is no electricity, no hot water, and no distractions.

It was built by a Native American I make pottery with, he didn’t use any metal screws or nails when building the cabin.

The cabin is made from wood that was chopped from the area. The design and properties of the wood keep the cabin cool in the hot summer months. If you look closely on the sides of the cabin, you will see dozens of holes.

These holes are the homes of the humble Wood Bee (or Carpenter Bee). During the spring months, when the bees reproduce, you will see the male bees hovering near the entrance to their nest. They dart around and fight off any other bee or insect that dares to come near. They will even get right in your face if you get to close. The males of the species do not have stingers, but they do an incredible job of being intimidating.

One afternoon I was sitting outside, enjoying the surroundings and watching the bees. Observing insects protect their lairs is fascinating. The fights they got into with others, the amount of effort put into the job, and the dedication they have to keep their family safe is downright inspiring.

I took my camera and tried to capture the bees as they hovered. It proved a difficult task. The hover never lasted more than two seconds and getting the bee in focus and pressing the shutter release in time was tough.

The two hours I spent chasing the bees, stripping off my clothes, pouring sweat, tripping over logs, bleeding, and cursing was rewarded by one of my proudest shots. Everything came together, light, focus, background pattern, the wood bee was captured in all his glory.

Wood Bee


The image has been featured in a number of magazines and has by far been my best selling print.

Available in 5×7

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