We’ve heard a lot about one of the planet’s most industrious insects, bees.
We know that they are under threat and that this has long-term effects for our environment, food production and society more generally.
But never have we been able to understand just how these insects come to be and how they are threatened within the hive.
Until now that is.
Photographer Anand Varma set out to catch a glimpse into the the first days of a bee’s life and what is making their colonies so vulnerable.
The incredible time-lapse footage of the first 21 days in a bees existence reveals one of the biggest threats to its health, the Varroa destructor mite.
As you watch the video keep an eye out for the mite that appears as the bee larvae evolves. It is typical of the mite to prey on the baby bees in first days of life, feeding on its blood.
While scientists have succeeded in breeding a mite-resistant bee, it lacks other desirable traits such as gentleness and the ability to store honey.
Watch as Varma explains the video in this TED talk below: