Technique: It was warm enough earlier today for the solitary bees to get active but a storm front came through, temperatures dropped, and it rained. So the critters got active and their metabolism tanked when they got cold and wet.
What you're seeing in the photo (other than a picnic table that desperately needs cleaned -bad weather and cats) is a male Red Mason bee on a flower. I cut the flower's stem and put it in a wood clamp (I carry several in my camera bag). Behind it are three flowers that I bought at Ikea and twisted together. I can change the color of the background simply by rotating it.
I've got my left hand on the table balled into a fist, and I'm resting the lens on that same hand. With everything on the same platform (the table) it's relatively easy to keep everything steady. I manually focus the scene by moving my hand and/or the lens. Sometimes I'll use a similar technique but instead of using a clamp I'll just hold onto the stem of the flower with my left hand and rest the lens on that same hand. Works pretty much the same.