Intimate Portraits of Bees and other insects from the USGS bee inventory and monitoring lab.
Photography by Sam Droege via National Geographic. These pictures were taken using technology developed for the US Army, so that soldiers could identify insects and determine if they were disease-carrying.
Droege will dry and prepare a dead bee specimen, which can be smaller than a half a grain of rice, for photographing. A macro lens is equipped with a slider to take several pictures in a row with different focuses. Then, the images are combined to one image in which all parts are in-focus, and dust and the stand are photoshopped out. The detail is enhanced but the colors are not—that color is real.
See more at Droege’s flickr.