Michelle Kelly Rogers
UF Alumni, MFA Sculpture
Artist, Gainesville, Florida
Global Bee Photography Project
Museum specimen collections possess answers to some of the largest questions we currently face as humans, regarding how we understand our planet and the threats to its biodiversity. However, most people will never have the opportunity to peer inside these enigmatic drawers. My project opens these drawers to the public, exposing their contents in order to disseminate knowledge concerning insect pollinator identification and conservation.
Over the past decade, insect pollinator populations have been declining at an alarming rate. While the message continues to spread concerning the crisis of the European honeybee, honeybees are not the only pollinators facing detrimental decline. Several native bee populations face equally challenging circumstances. Insect populations are an indicative species, meaning; the status of their health denotes the health of our own eco-system at large. Although often overlooked, an incredible variety of insect pollinator species exist; in North America alone, resides over 4,000 species of native bees.
My project involves photographing the Hymenoptera Collection at the Museum of Entomology located in Gainesville, FL. As a storehouse for some of the largest entomological collections in the world, this museum is an invaluable, untapped resource, whose contents speak to the biodiversity of our planet, including its threats.