Close-Up Bee Portraits Are A Glimpse Into A Gorgeously Weird World

Illustration for article titled Close-Up Bee Portraits Are A Glimpse Into A Gorgeously Weird World

It's not very often that you get a chance to take a very, very close look at a bee. But these gorgeous macro pictures of bees, wasps, and more show us just how much we've been missing out on.

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Images: Sam Droege / USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab.

The photos are a part of the USGS Bee Inventory And Monitoring Lab's ongoing examination at all the different species of bees, wasps, and more that live around us — and it has a whole host of new close-up shots for National Pollinator's Week.

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Here are just some of our favorites. I've also invited the photographer behind these pictures, Sam Droege, to tell us a bit about the photos and how he takes them in the comments. So if you have any questions for him, ask away!

Illustration for article titled Close-Up Bee Portraits Are A Glimpse Into A Gorgeously Weird World
Illustration for article titled Close-Up Bee Portraits Are A Glimpse Into A Gorgeously Weird World
Illustration for article titled Close-Up Bee Portraits Are A Glimpse Into A Gorgeously Weird World
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Illustration for article titled Close-Up Bee Portraits Are A Glimpse Into A Gorgeously Weird World
Illustration for article titled Close-Up Bee Portraits Are A Glimpse Into A Gorgeously Weird World
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Illustration for article titled Close-Up Bee Portraits Are A Glimpse Into A Gorgeously Weird World
Illustration for article titled Close-Up Bee Portraits Are A Glimpse Into A Gorgeously Weird World
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Illustration for article titled Close-Up Bee Portraits Are A Glimpse Into A Gorgeously Weird World
Illustration for article titled Close-Up Bee Portraits Are A Glimpse Into A Gorgeously Weird World
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Illustration for article titled Close-Up Bee Portraits Are A Glimpse Into A Gorgeously Weird World
Illustration for article titled Close-Up Bee Portraits Are A Glimpse Into A Gorgeously Weird World
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DISCUSSION

I'm curious about the process of taking the photos — did you have to rig up some of your own equipment or is it all standard? Also, where do the subjects of the photos come from — do people send them in when they find unusual bees or wasps? Are there ever bees or wasps that are sent in that can't be identified?

I was also wondering if there's a bee or wasp that you think wins "most photogenic"?