The Real Bee’s Knees: Stunning Micro-View of the Workers Behind Your Mother’s Day Flowers

Detail of Bee: Halictus ligatus, side view, covered in pollen from an unknown plant.

Detail of Bee: Halictus ligatus, side view, covered in pollen from an unknown plant. Morris Arboretum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. US Geological Survey Bee Inventory, January 2013. Image #PA_2013-01-04-14.53.42 ZS PMax

Spring is finally here for those of us in the Northeastern United States, and Mother’s Day seems like an appropriate time to share this stunning photographic portrait of Mother Nature. Here we have just one relentlessly efficient, always-present, yet frequently-overlooked, female worker that powers a major part of our ecosystem as well as an entire  industry.

This amazing image is courtesy of the artful scientists of the United States Geological Survey’s Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab (USGS BIML). View more awe-inspiring images of Mother Nature’s busy bees at the USGS BIML Flickr photo stream.


GLIMPSE journal is an interdisciplinary supercollider presenting the work of leading and emerging scholars, researchers, scientists and artists from around the world, on the “art + science of seeing.” Some of our contributors are independent thinkers and doers with no formal institutional affiliations, and others are affiliated with the most respected research institutions in the world. Read all about them.