In photos: The beauty of bees 
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In photos: The beauty of bees 

Biologist Sam Droege of the USGS Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Program has turned the work of documenting bee species into an art form. His rare and extremely detailed look at these insects provides an online reference catalog to help researchers identity native bee species across North America.  

To get the images, Droege and his team uses a full-frame DSLR with 60mm macro lens. They shoot multiple images on a Cognisys StackShot Rail and then combine them to create a picture of a bee completely in focus. 

Check out a sample of his work in our gallery. See more on his Flickr photostream.

Learn about Droege's set up and technique (PDF)

AboveHalictus ligatus covered in pollen from an unknown plant, Morris Arboretum, Philadelphia.