Anand Varma is an extremely talented photographer with a special passion for wildlife.
In his most recent project — a collaboration with National Geographic — Varma raised a colonies of bees in front of a camera in his backyard in order to capture the mesmerizing process of bee development: from egg to adulthood in 21 days. Check it out in the video below:
Bees play an extremely crucial role in our society by being the primary pollinators of the fruits, nuts and vegetables we eat every day. According to a White House press release,
“Honey bees enable the production of at least 90 commercially grown crops in North America.”
In fact, the White House estimates that honeybees’ pollination efforts contribute a staggering $15 billion to the U.S. economy every year. That’s one of the reasons why people are so worried about the steady decline in bee populations over the past 70 years.
In 1947, there were 6 million colonies (beehives) in the United States. By 1970, that number had dropped to 4 million and by 1990 it had dropped to 3 million. Today, just 2.5 million colonies remain.
You can read more about the decline of pollinators on the White House’s official website.
BONUS: The time-lapse video above was part of a 6-minute TED talk in which Varma explains the current bee crisis in more depth and discusses some of the measures being taken to combat their decline. Check out the full talk below: