These Photos Show the Stunning Diversity of North America’s Native Bees    By Jordan G. Teicher

Metallic green bee, Augochloropsis metallica, collecting nectar and pollen from a
black-eyed susan.  South Carolina.

In 2014, Clay Bolt, a self-described natural history photographer, started photographing bees in his Bozeman, Montana, garden after reading about colony collapse disorder, the phenomenon devastating honey bee populations around the world. Curious about what he’d captured, he found the bees in his photos weren’t honey bees, which are native to Europe, but rather two different species of native North American bees. In North America alone, Bolt was surprised to learn, there are more than 4,000 native bee species.

“As I began to do more research, I realized that so little was known about our native species, and so at that moment I realized that I could use my photography to begin to tell some of those stories,” he said. 

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