Seven species of bees have just been added to the US endangered species list, marking the first time bees have been considered as endangered. Bees are not only directly involved in up to one third of our food supply, but are also crucial to the survival other organisms too, such as various species of birds and spiders.
In order to study the intricacies of these delicate creatures, the USGS Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab (BIML) has been photographing various species of bees over a number of years. These macro photographs are taken at varying depths of field, to ensure that the entire body of the insect is in focus. The photographs are then combined together using focus stacking to create the finished image.
These incredible images show these creatures at an unrivalled level of detail, allowing scientists to study the variations in bees between different species, and to preserve their appearance in great detail should they even become extinct.
Responsible for pollinating up to $30 billion worth of commercial fruit and vegetables in the US each year, it is crucial that they are preserved.