by Inigo del Castillo in New Photography on Tuesday 24 December 2013

As the head of the US Geological Survey’s Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Program, Sam Droege has the unenviable job of running an organization that monitors the condition of bees in the U.S. Specifically, identifying and archiving the thousands of bee species, many of which have distinguishable features that can be seen only through macro photography.

Since 2010, they’ve been using macro photography to help identify the different bee species. The photos they’ve taken show that nature’s beauty comes in many forms, even in the tiny body of an otherwise irritating and allergy-causing bee.

Droege shares about the how the bees are like an art form: ‘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’.

So before you swat that bee away, stop and reflect for a second. Think about its beautiful colours, the French curves, the detail of Mother Nature’s art. Now put that rolled-up newspaper away and simply run for your life!

You can check out Droege’s entire bee story on his Flickr account.