There's not much to take pictures of during the winter months because the bees have all left. Nevertheless, I've been reading, and planning, and pondering. My goal of getting an image that was both scientific and artistic is no longer a goal for several reasons.
After seeing images taken by Dr. John Brackenbury, I realized that I was a little late to the party. You can see some of his work here. His work is a bit controversial. According to some reviewers of his books at Amazon he uses several images to digitally compose them (i.e. blend them via software); according to others he uses a very unique system that requires special lenses, shutters, and flash and no software. Whatever the case may be about his pictures, it's the flash that got me curious. According to the British Journal of Photography the amount of power he uses can power a small town--well, they don't say how big a town, but I'm certainly impressed as the good Doc describes it as "lightning". That's got to be some power. One train of thought and a lot of searching led to another and I ended up finding the following:
On top of this I discovered Olsen flashes, SL-80 flashes, and a few others. Sadly all the flashes that could help me accomplish my goal are either no longer in production or extremely expensive (not the flash themselves, but due to import/brokerage fees). There are no flash manufacturers on this continent who focus on high speed flashes for enthusiasts. Needless to say I was a little dismayed.
I will continue to take pictures of bees, but my goal has changed. I've gone back to what I originally wanted and I'm not going to cry a river or worry about whether my images will ever win a contest or be published for being both scientific and artistic. This is, after all, just a hobby for me, and I'll gladly keep it that way and continue to share my work with others. I can't wait till next summer because I have a some new tricks up my sleeve, just nothing as fancy as a flash system that requires as much power as lighting a small town (however large or small it may be)!