Like one photo, that shows a sweet, cuddly moment between two unexpected animal subjects.
Photographer Joe Neely was out on a walk with his wife, and the beautiful nature inspired him to stop to take some pics. “On the way back we saw this patch of pink flowers just off the highway, so we stopped to take some photos,” he told Bored Panda.
Little did he know, this would lead to his most famous photograph. On an orange Globe Mallow plant among the pink flowers, he discovered two bees sharing the flower — and appeared to be asleep, and cuddling:
Neely says that many bees showed up to pollinate the flowers, and these two decided to share one after all the flowers were taken.
“There were several other flowers with occupants but these two made for such a sweet and beautiful composition where they seem to be holding hands,” the photographer wrote on Instagram.
“I take a lot of nature and wildlife photos but this one is truly unique.”
Neely said it also made him realize that bees do in fact sleep, especially after a long day of work. “We joked that they looked pollen drunk as they stumbled about,” Neely told The Dodo. “Soon after, all the flowers on the plant had a motionless occupant in them. They were sleeping.”
The cuddly bee photo has become Neely’s most popular pic. And it’s photos like this that might just change the public’s perception about bees.
Bees are often viewed by the average person as a stinging nuisance, or not thought about at all. And that’s a problem, because bees are now facing a crisis, after years of human-related habitat loss.
But we need bees to thrive: they’re a crucial part of our ecosystem. According to Greenpeace, they perform 80 percent of pollination worldwide, including to a huge amount of human food crop.
Up-close and heartwarming photos like this show a side of bees we don’t often think about, and it might help people take action to save them.
What a beautiful photo. Bees do such an important job for the environment — it’s heartwarming to see them snuggling up after a long day of work!