Macro Bee Portraits by Sam Droege and the USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab

Macro Bee Portraits by Sam Droege and the USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab

Macro Bee Portraits by Sam Droege and the USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab

Sam Droege is the head of the USGS Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Program in Maryland, an organization that monitors the health and habitat of bees in the United States. They also create reference catalogs to help researchers in the identification of bee species in North America. The project is a huge task as there are literally thousands of species of bees in the U.S., some of which vary in only the most little ways that may not even be recognizable to the naked eye.

Macro Bee Portraits by Sam Droege and the USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab

Macro Bee Portraits by Sam Droege and the USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab

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

Macro Bee Portraits by Sam Droege and the USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab

Macro Bee Portraits by Sam Droege and the USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab

He shares in his Flickr account: “When we started looking at these pictures, I just wanted to gaze at these shots for long periods of time,” Sam says. “I had seen these insects for many years, but the level of detail was incredible. The fact that everything was focused, the beauty and the arrangement of the insects themselves — the ratios of the eyes, the golden means, the french curves of the body, and the colors that would slide very naturally from one shade to another were just beautiful! It was the kind of thing that we could not achieve at the highest level of art.”

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