This past spring I officially launched Beautiful Bees: a multi-year project focusing on North America’s native bees. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience so far and I’m only getting started. One species that I hope to draw special attention to is the Rusty-patched Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis). This is an insect that has declined 87% in the last 15 years due, at least in part, to an introduced Eurasian pathogen. This species is the perfect poster-child for many of the continent’s threatened species. Project partner The Xerces…

I spent the past few days shooting in The Nature Conservancy’s Green Swamp Preserve near Shallotte, North Carolina for a story-in-progress. It is an amazing place to see carnivorous plants in the wild such as pitcher plants, bladderworts and Venus Flytraps, as well as a beautiful Longleaf Pine ecosystem. In fact some reports state that you can find 14 species there! Grass-carrying wasps (Isodontia sp) are some of my favorite species associated with pitcher plants and although I’ve been photographing them on and off for the past couple…

If you thought you had to travel to exotic locales to photograph captivating subjects, think again. Award-winning nature and conversation photographer Clay Bolt shows you how to find, approach and photograph fascinating insects in your own backyard with spectacular results in this new online course from Craftsy. Learn to work with available light and shallow depth of field to create crystal-clear images. Explore a variety of off-camera flash setups to enhance color and texture, increase sharpness and freeze motion. Use wide-angle macro lenses to create surreal images that…

By Clay Bolt, Each year, beginning in late summer and moving into fall, there is a particular Beech Tree (Fagus grandifolia) that is inundated with Beech Blight Aphids (Grylloprociphilus imbricator). When these aphids are young, they cover the tree’s limbs and leaves with thousands of their fuzzy white bodies, which seem to “dance” if you get too close. This had led to coining of another common name, the “Boogie-Woogie Aphid.” Ants and wasps are drawn to the copious amounts of honeydew that the insects excrete and some, such…