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The First 21 Days of a Bee’s Life Seen in 60 Seconds

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Here’s a fantastic 6-minute TED Talk by photographer Anand Varma, who recently became involved in the preservation of bees after being asked by National Geographic to shoot a story on them.

As part of the work, Varma shot a fascinating time-lapse that shows the first 21 days of a bee’s life in just 60 seconds. Seen between 2 and 3 minutes in the video above, the video offers a closeup look at how bees grow from tiny larvae into mature honeybees inside their brood cells.

beesthumbs

National Geographic’s PROOF has published an article on this project that shares some behind-the-scenes info on how the photos were shot:

[Varma] set a small piece of brood comb in the incubator, and rigged up a contraption that would allow his camera to photograph the same cell for a week at a time. “I couldn’t really photograph one bee for the whole 21 days of its life cycle, so I broke it up and I tried to capture each transformation that happens,” he says.

As with any experiment, there were challenges. The first few tries, the humidity levels weren’t right. And then the first time-lapse he got revealed an ant infestation—all he had were photos of ants eating bee larvae. “Once it started to work, I was like, ‘Oh my god, this is going to be the coolest thing ever if I can show every part of this process.’”

After dozens of tries over half a year, Varma managed to capture enough photos for the beautiful time-lapse shared above. The photos have also been published in the May 2015 issue of National Geographic magazine.

(via TED via Pop Photo)

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