Sometimes it's better to be lucky than it is to be good. I followed bees around this bush for at least a half hour and have done this on more occasions than I can remember. Shooting bees with a macro lens is challenging in all sorts of ways. Shooting mid day gets your shutter speed up high enough to stop the action, but the bees are twice as fast when its hot, and depth of field is so shallow you can't get them in focus in time. Waiting until later means you have to bump up your ISO, which is OK until you try to crop in tight, and the detail is lost to noise.
In the end it wasn't technical prowess that got me here to this result. Knowing the technical things got me in the ballpark (and I'm sure there were things I overlooked here as well). In the end it was perseverance and patience that resulted in this shot. This bee sat in this spot resting long enough for me to get one shot off with the eye in focus. I could have skipped the 50 other photos I missed on and just waited for this one. The big question is whether I would have seen this if not for the other 50.