I used to be terrified of bees. I’m not sure why, though, because I don’t remember ever having been stung as a child. Over the years, however, I’ve grown more comfortable around them and don’t shudder each time one flies near. I’ve spent a lot of time this spring traversing fields of native grasses with my volunteer work for the Smithsonian, so I’ve grown even more comfortable among these incredible insects. Today, I took advantage of my new-found bravery (and their obvious singular focus on a beautiful garden of cone flowers) to get up close and personal. This bee paused to clean his face, and I like to think he was trying just has hard to focus on me as I was on him.