National Geographic’s Honey Bee Day Picture Jamboree!

National Geographic’s photography is second to none worldwide, thanks to the world renowned photographers on it’s team. Celebrating National Honey Bee Day on August 15th, the magazine’s website published this beautiful gallery of bees and beekeepers from around the world, revealing at once the grandeur of these amazing creatures.

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A man in Bangladesh uses smoke to subdue wild honeybees and a bush knife to cut the comb from a tree. During this harvest season, honey hunters will make about a third of their yearly income.

PHOTOGRAPH BY TIM LAMAN, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE

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Each colony has one queen. After she hatches, she goes on her mating flight and stores up to six million sperm in her abdomen. She will then lay 2,000 eggs a day, controlling whether the egg will turn into a female or male.

PHOTOGRAPH BY ANAND VARMA, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE

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Commercial beekeepers, like Bret Adee in this photo, truck their thousands of hives all over the country to pollinate different commercial crops. Honeybees are responsible for bringing $15 billion to the U.S. economy.

PHOTOGRAPH BY ANAND VARMA, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE

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A bee collects pollen in stiff hairs on her legs, known as pollen baskets. This will be used as food for developing bees. The nectar, which she sucks up through her proboscis, is stored back in the hive, where it evaporates into honey.

PHOTOGRAPH BY SCOTT LESLIE, MINDEN PICTURES/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Some beekeepers wear a full suit with gloves, others only a veil, and others no protective clothing at all. After a few stings, the body builds a tolerance so the reaction becomes next to nothing.

PHOTOGRAPH BY AMY TOENSING, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE

Just like every other living thing, honeybees need water to survive. During the summer, a hive needs at least a liter of water per day.

PHOTOGRAPH BY KARINE AIGNER, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE

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This photo shows pupae developing into adult bees. When 10 days old, bees secrete wax, which they then use to build honeycomb in perfect hexagons. Why the hexagon? It provides the most amount of space using the least amount of wax.

PHOTOGRAPH BY ANAND VARMA, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE

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A member of the Hadza community, the world’s last full-time hunter-gatherers, takes a bite out of fresh honeycomb. In addition to being a source of energy and sweetness, some people swear by honey for skin care and hayfever relief.

PHOTOGRAPH BY MATTHIEU PALEY, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE

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In Panama, Africanized honeybees swarm toward an Ochroma flower just after sunset. Africanized bees, while more aggressive than other breeds, are also more resilient to diseases and tend to produce more honey.

PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRISTIAN ZIEGLER, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE


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