SCIENCE

Fascinating, Disturbing Video Shows How Bees Are Made

05/15/2015 04:15 pm ET | Updated May 15, 2015

Ever wonder how bees are born? You should watch this fascinatingly creepy video of slimy-looking larvae morphing into the fuzzy honeybees we know and love.

Photographer Anand Varma shot the film as part of a project on honeybees for the May issue of National Geographic magazine.

To get up close to the larvae, Varma took sealed brood cells -- where larvae are reared -- from a hive and placed them in an incubator in a University of California, Davis, laboratory. Next, he set up a camera that would photograph one part of the hive for a week at a time. It took six months to create the time-lapse sequence you see here.

He became entranced by "this crazy transformation, from one nasty-looking grub thing into this crazy-looking insect," he told National Geographic. It's easy to see why.

bees

A new honeybee emerges from a brood cell. In her six-week life span, this worker bee will forage for food, make honey—and raise the next generation. Image composed of 23 digitally merged photographs. Source: Billy Synk, Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis (©Anand Varma/National Geographic)

Honeybees are featured alongside dolphins and the Mekong River in the May issue of the magazine.

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