3.9
July 9, 2014

The Exquisite Beauty of Bees. {Macro-Photography}

Photo: Sam Droege https://www.flickr.com/photos/usgsbiml/with/8119753576/

There’s a lot of buzz about bees in the media these days, and rightfully so!

Bees are important pollinators, essential in transferring pollen among flowers and plants of food crops. Without the assistance of bees, many of our favorite foods would not reach our dining tables!

We are learning and hearing more about the importance of bees, as we watch their numbers in nature declining.
Colony Collapse Disorder is on the rise and a large contributing factor are pesticides being used on farm crops. This is one of the many reasons organic gardening and farming are so important!

But beyond the various practical reasons we should preserve and protect bees, let’s take a moment to appreciate the inherently simple beauty these winged creatures possess.

Recently, Colossal (an art, design and visual culture blog) featured breathtaking macro-photography of bees, taken by Sam Droege.

Droege is the head of the USGS Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Program, an organization that monitors the health and habitat of bees in the U.S. and creates archival reference catalogs to aid researchers in the identification of bee species in North America.

Per the aforementioned Colossal piece:

To aid in the identification process the USGS Bee Inventory relies on extremely high resolution photography, an initiative led by Droege that has been ongoing since 2010. Droege’s macro photos of bees are so clear and well executed that they practically pass as works of art in their own right.

abeja1  Photo: Sam Droege https://www.flickr.com/photos/usgsbiml/with/8119753576/Photo: Sam Droege https://www.flickr.com/photos/usgsbiml/with/8119753576/ Photo: Sam Droege https://www.flickr.com/photos/usgsbiml/with/8119753576/ Photo: Sam Droege https://www.flickr.com/photos/usgsbiml/with/8119753576/

When reaching out to Sam Droege, requesting permission to re-publish some of his photos here on elephant, he had this to say regarding his work:

“I consider taking and working with these photographs an honor as a public servant and a wonderful meditation on the beauty of these tiny beings.”

You can see more of Droege’s beautiful photography on Flickr.

 

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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photos: via Sam Droege / USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab, used with permission.

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