I couldn’t be more pleased to have shot the cover story for the April / May edition of National Wildlife Magazine. The story was wonderfully written by Laura Tangley. If you’re not a National Wildlife Federation Member, visit this page to order copies!

Pollinators are among the most important insects on Earth. Wherever a wide variety of flowering plants grows, a diverse army of pollinators will be there to ensure that those plants can reproduce.Case in point: the Highlands Biological Station in western North Carolina. HBS is a world-class botanical garden and ecological research facility, with an impressive diversity of pollinators on the property. Learn why pollinators are so important to healthy ecosystems in this short film produced by Day’s Edge Productions and Clay Bolt for the Highlands Biological Station.

This past spring I officially launched Beautiful Bees: a multi-year project focusing on North America’s native bees. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience so far and I’m only getting started. One species that I hope to draw special attention to is the Rusty-patched Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis). This is an insect that has declined 87% in the last 15 years due, at least in part, to an introduced Eurasian pathogen. This species is the perfect poster-child for many of the continent’s threatened species. Project partner, The Xerces Society, has…

We are all familiar with Bumble Bees, but did you realize that some Bombus species are actually nest parasites of other Bumble Bees? This rather disheveled looking bee is the Lemon Cuckoo Bumble Bee (Bombus (Psithyrus) citrinus) (a male), which is a parasite of the Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Bombus impatiens) and the Half-black Bumble Bee (Bombus vagans). After sneaking her way into the host colony, a female Lemon Cuckoo Bumble Bee dispatches the queen and takes control of the nest’s workers who soon begin to feed her…

If you’ve ever wondered why bees matter, or what you can do to help protect them, then take just a few minutes to watch this TED talk from Marla Spivak. It is one of the best short explanations on the importance of bees that I’ve seen so far.

It occurred to me this past week that one of the reasons that I’ve been having such a wonderful time photographing bees is because the process is a lot like a treasure hunt. While I often may have an idea of what I’m netting, there are many, many more times at this stage when I have no idea of the species that I’ve just captured until I peer –very excitedly– into the net. In part, the chance for new discoveries is due to the sheer number of species…