Bees, Bees, and Additional Bees!

See what all the buzz is about.
  1. Clay Bolt really likes bees.
  2. His obsession began in 2014, when he started photographing them in his Bozeman, Montana garden.
  3. Bolt was interested in colony collapse disorder — an affliction threatening to wipe out bee species around the world.
    He discovered there are more 4,000 types of bees native to North America alone.
  4. “As I began to do more research, I realized that so little was known about our native species,” says Bolt.
  5. His series “Beautiful Bees” has been an eye-opener — Bolt says that each time he ventures into the field, he finds a new species.
  6. “Because of the incredible number of species, they've all evolved to fill different niches within the ecosystem… There are squash specialists, leafcutter bees, bees that dig nests in the ground, and others that nest in hollow twigs. Everywhere you look, different species of bees are making a living and doing it well.”
  7. Bolt never chills or sedates his bees — which can lead to some long, hot days waiting in flower patches for the perfect shot.
  8. The bees surely appreciate his gentle approach.
    About 1 in 4 native North American bee species are facing extinction, though none of them are protected by the Endangered Species Act.
  9. Bolt hopes his bright, whimsical photos will inspire people to be more conscious of their fuzzy, buzzy, flower-loving friends.
    Some of the best ways to help bees are: refraining from pesticide use, and cultivating native plants.
  10. Says Bolt, “I want [viewers] to feel wonder and excitement at how beautiful these important creatures are. And even better, I want them to pay closer attention the next time they are in their own garden or backyard.”