Portraits of bees in detail

The researchers took advantage of the latest achievements of technology of photography, developed by the US Army, in order to create beautiful portraits of North American bees.

Portraits of bees in detail

Sam Photographing Droga, USGS

Beautiful Bee

Portraits of bees in detail

The bees are the workhorses of the world of insects. Transferring pollen from one plant to another, they provide the next generation of fruits, nuts, vegetables and wild flowers that we love so much.

"There are 4000 species of North American bees, who live to the north of Mexico," - said Sam Drog, the head of the registry and monitoring programs bees US Geological Survey (USGS).

"Only 40 of them - introduced species, including the European honeybees Most species are overlooked, as many of them are super tiny, -. Says Drog -. The main part of the bees in the region about half the size of an ordinary bee."

Local species also go unnoticed because they do not sting, he adds. They quietly doing their thing - collecting pollen from flowers in the gardens, near the sand dunes, or around the edges of parks

Bee in the photo above is one of the species of bees carpenter from the Dominican Republic, known as Xylocopa mordax. It nests in the woods or on the stems of the yucca, and is closely related to species that inhabit the United States, who are building their holes in dead wood.

The coated gold pollen

Portraits of bees in detail

Drog and his colleagues began to keep a register of all species of bees in North America in 2001. This was done due to the fact that these insects are very important to the agricultural industry.

"Almost all the fruit and nuts, and many varieties of vegetables that we eat that require bees for pollination," - he explains.

"Bee-galikt (Halictus ligatus) pictured above pollinate sunflowers and black-eyed Susan," said Drogo. - This yellow pollen almost certainly sunflower pollen "

The head honeybee

Portraits of bees in detail

Instead, to gather a collection of dried bee identified that not all would be able to come and explore, Drog decided to do otherwise: he started a photographic catalog of species of bees.

That was before the Drog was able to learn how to make detailed pictures, for example, a photo of the head of the honey bee (Apis mellifera), which you can see in the photo.

He spent years "doing such good pictures," in an attempt to generate IDs. But wildlife biologist knew he needed to create a better system.

Brilliant Blue

Portraits of bees in detail

Four years ago, Gutierrez came up with a system that consisted of a camera mounted with a macro lens attachment with a slider and digital software, suitable for connecting your pictures together.

Taking images at an increased level necessary for bees or mosquitoes, it meant that there would be absolutely no depth of field. Only part of an insect would have been at the center at any time. Thus, if researchers or army staff wanted a photo of an insect, which would be fully at the center, they had to make a few shots - each of which had to be focused at different points of the sample, and combine photos to a single image in the center.

tongue straw

Portraits of bees in detail

This species is known as Anthophora affabilis, inhabits National Park Badlands in South Dakota. Her tongue stuck to the left, is a drinking straw in conjunction with the language. "It's two in one".

Bee uses it to get into the funnel-shaped flowers to extract nectar, which lies at the bottom.

A bee can suck nectar through a "straw" in a while, as the tiny hairs along the tongue help to get the remaining grains and droplets of nectar and pollen.


Portraits of bees in detail

Drog learned to select objects of his pictures over the years - such as the very common bumblebee (Bombus griseocollis).

"Initially, I could grab the lens of any instance that would be caught by the arm," - he says. - But nearly all the bees have a lot of fluff on the body, "and many of them do not look very good for the creation of such pictures.

Drog and colleagues are dried and prepared specimens of bees maximum quality to use Photoshop only for the removal of images of big specks of dust, which they have.

Precious tunes

Portraits of bees in detail

Drog adds that he does not manipulate the colors of their images. "From a scientific point of view it is not the case."

"Each bee color", - he says. - And many of them are naturally optimistic. "

This bee known as Augochloropsis Metallica, is one such example. Relating to A. sumptuosa, who live in the sand dunes, A. Metallica is more generalized finding.

Tiny headshot

This species, Hylaeus modestus, caught near Washington, DC, about half the size of rice grain. The head is so small that the hearse had to use a needle for acupuncture to set it to take pictures.

"Unlike other bees, rather than to carry the pollen on the outer side of the body, they swallow it and carry it inside," - explains the biologist. In the nest, they vomit it, ensuring its larval food.

Since bees photos were originally intended for a scientific audience, Drog and colleagues make frames for a more detailed examination of certain parts of the insect's body.