Bees close up. Very close.

Augochlorella aurata Sam Droege USGS Bee Inventory

Halictus ligatus Sam Droege USGS Bee Inventory

Biologist Sam Droege photographs insects for U.S. Geological Survey's Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab. Check out the amazing Flickr stream here. The photos are used to track bee populations. Droege's gear includes a camera, 60 mm macro lens, and a StackShot macro rail. The StackShot is used to adjust the camera and take multiple images for later focus stacking, a process in which photos with a narrow depth of field are digitally combined into a single image. Above, Augochlorella aurata, Boonesboro, Maryland. At right, Halictus ligatus coated in pollen, Morris Arboretum, Philadelphia, PA. "Bee-utiful! The Stinging Insect Gets a Close-Up" (Smithsonian)