You might have caught a story in last week’s Asahi Shimbun about a rare and unusual kind of bee to be found buzzing around Japan, and in particular at the Aso Highland Museum Park, in Kumamoto prefecture.
Though the article seemed to downplay the chances of finding any, we decided to make the trip up into the highlands to the museum anyway, as it lies at the foot of Mount Aso, which is always worth trip, bees or no bees.
Dotted around the museum’s garden, there were patches of flowering basil, and busily buzzing around these bushes were hundreds of insects – including some blue and black striped bees.
As I crouched next to the plant, waiting for an opportune moment to take a snap, with the bees buzzing around my head, it struck how quiet they were. In fact they were barely buzzing at all. Occasionally one would stop and hover in front of my face, as if it were checking me out. This made them seem very friendly, though I may just have been caught up in the moment.
More photos of the unmistakeable blueness can be seen here.