Now that it's summertime there's no such thing as a lethargic bee -they are hyperactive even before the sun comes up.
Tech Specs: Canon 70D (F16, 1/60, ISO 200) + a Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens (just above 1x) + a diffused MT-24EX. This is a single, uncropped, frame taken hand held.
Technique: I injected 2:1 sugar syrup into a lavender flower so the critter would have a reason to let me get close. I then took a few test shots with the camera set to F16 and ISO 200, adjusting the shutter until I got a properly exposed background. The sun was at my back, and I shaded the bee so that the flash would be the primary light source on it to help freeze motion.
I almost binned this next shot -the out of focus Lavender flower in the foreground might be a compositional buzz kill for some. But I like the overall look and feel of this image, and if you look at that trailing antenna you can see just how close I was to the natural light exposure for the subject (not good). I had the flash set to second curtain sync just in case I did record some movement. Since the flash is the last significant light source to illuminate the subject before the shutter closes I still managed to capture the detail in the antenna. If I didn't have the flash in second curtain sync then it would have fired right when the shutter opened, and the movement of the antenna would have blurred out most of the detail. BTW: Someone on Flickr mistook this for an HDR shot, and it's not. I just managed to get a really good balance between the natural light exposure in the background and the flash on the subject. [IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/vhFZid]Baited Series 1-2 by John Kimbler, on Flickr
I like this next frame because it shows the bumblebee's Glossa -that pipe cleaner looking area at the end of its proboscis. [IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/v5jwQA]Baited Series 1-3 by John Kimbler, on Flickr
Due to being close to the natural light exposure, and not always being able to properly shade the subject, I recorded a lot of motion blur and deleted a lot of frames...