When I first started photographing cherry blossoms at Hakone Estate & Gardens a few years back, the number of bees on the blossoms frightened me because I am highly allergic to bee stings (asthma). In the thousands of photos I’ve taken, not one bee has stung me. They have landed on my gear, my hat, and my face, arms and legs. And not one sting. I really love the bees. This photo was softened for effect. It is one of my favorites. If you live in the Bay Area, or even if you don’t and want to support Hakone, buy a membership. They are very modestly priced and it goes to a crown jewel of the San Francisco Bay Area in Silicon Valley’s foothills.


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