Biologist Creates Portrait Gallery of North American Bees

Voice of America/Science & Technology   By George Putic   3/19/14

While the collapse of honey bee colonies in North America is still an unsolved mystery, a biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey is trying to preserve the memory of thousands of varieties of pollinating insects, some of which may become extinct. VOA’s George Putic has more.

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Faces of Bees, Flies and Friends: Photos

Discovery News  March 7, 2014

The U.S. Geological Survey is posting photos of insects on its Flickr page, offering a macro look at this hidden world.

This wild bee (Hoplitis fulgida), a female from Grand Tetons National Park, was collected as part of a study of climate change. Most species in this genus are black , but a few, like this one, are as the Latin in name implies, glittering jewels.

Sam Droege/USGS  
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Beautiful, Intimate Portrait of Bees

National Geographic  (Sunday Stills - Issue 9)  Photographs by Sam Droege     1/2/14

Researchers take advanatage of technology photography developed by the U.S. Army to capture beautiful portraits of bees native to North America.

Sam Droege and colleagues at the U.S. Geological Survey began to inventory all the bee species in North America in 2001. This was partly because the insects are so important to the agriculture industry. “Almost all the fruits and nuts, and a lot of the vegetable varieties, that we eat require some insect—usually bees—for pollination,” he explains.

Most of the natives are overlooked because “a lot of them are super tiny,” Droege says. “The bulk of the bees in the area are about half the size of a honeybee.” They also go unnoticed because they don’t sting, he adds. They quietly go about their business gathering pollen from flowers in gardens, near sand dunes, or on the edges of parks.

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