The image recorded in South Texas reveals cactus bees (Diadasia rinconis) in an uncommon and intimate moment as they swarm into a mating ball for an opportunity to mate with one female bee.
Karine Aigner/BigPicture Photography Competitors
The winners of the 2022 BigPicture: Natural World Photography Competition commemorate life process and natural durability. The California Academy of Sciences places on the contest, which judges photos that catch nature in 8 different categories. This year’s competitors motivated photographers to send images showcasing life on Earth and illustrated some of the world’s dangers, Alan Taylor for the Atlantic reports.
” Each photo, in its own way, influences viewers to secure and conserve the amazing variety of life on Earth,” keeps in mind bioGraphic, the Academy’s online publication of nature and preservation, and the main media sponsor of the BigPicture competitors.
The grand reward was awarded to photojournalist Karine Aigner for her image entitled Bee Balling. The image, taken in South Texas, shows cactus bees (Diadasia rinconis) in a rare and intimate moment as they swarm into a ball for a possibility to mate with one female bee. The routine lasts only 20 seconds prior to the ball disbands, and the female bee flies away with the triumphant male clinging onto her back, Popular Science’s Stephanie Stone reports.
” We do not typically see little organisms in Grand Reward images,” says Suzi Eszterhas, BigPicture Jury Chair, in a statement. “Aigner had the ability to catch a rare and small phenomenon and turn it into something spectacular. Observing this mating ball from the lowest point possible provides us an intimate point of view of this uncommon habits.”
Winning photos from the 8 categories were picked from more than 7,000 submissions that originated from 65 countries. All stunning images will be on display screen at the California Academy of Sciences in the fall for visitors to see and are published online at bioGraphic.
Have a look at the first-place winners in each classification below:
Grand Reward Winner: Bee Balling- Karine Aigner
Aigner captured this image in Texas on a warm spring morning after the female cactus bee emerged from her tubular underground nest. Upon developing, she was swarmed by dozens of patrolling male bees buzzing for an opportunity to mate with her. Aigner waited on the ground to snap the image of the frantic cluster of bees. Cactus bees are important pollinators to native plants in Texas.
Karine Aigner/BigPicture Competition
Aquatic Life Winner: Sea Lion Fall- David Slater
Slater recorded this mournful picture of a California sea lion’s last resting location at the bottom of Monterey Bay, covered by lots of bat stars. The image was taken on a deep-sea dive Slater took in September 2021.
David Slater/BigPicture Competition
Terrestrial Wildlife Winner: Spider Web- Bence MáteMáté laid
still on a drifting conceal in Hungary’s Kiskunsag National Park to shoot this picture of a Eurasian beaver gnawing on a tree. The picture is backlit by dawn’s early rays and highlights the beaver’s whiskers and the spider resting in the middle of its transparent web.
Bence Máte/ BigPicture Competition
Winged Life Winner: Frame Within A Frame- Sitaram Raul
Raul’s image reveals a fruit bat as it flies towards a custard apple tree for a meal. The tree’s leaves frame the bat as it approaches. To snap this spectacular image, Raul invested three weeks observing the bats in his backyard to forecast their habits and ultimately photograph the acclaimed shot.
Sitaram Raul/BigPicture Competition
Landscapes, Waterscapes and Plants Winner: The Hidden Charm Underneath Our Feet- Tom St. George
Deep within the cavern systems of Mexico’s Riviera Maya, St George shot this incredible dimly lit underwater cavern with thousands of stalactites. While the area appears lifeless, it belongs to an extensive below ground network of sinkholes, flooded passages and caverns that are house to distinct fish and zooplankton just discovered in the Yucatán Peninsula. George hopes his image will accentuate the cave’s beauty and dangers that threaten the vulnerable ecosystem.
Tom St. George/BigPicture Competition
Art of Nature Winner: Insect Diversity- Pål Hermansen
This picture of a tapestry of insects results from Hermansen walking one March early morning in Norway. Throughout it, he observed an outside light that had been left on all night drew in lots of insects to the light’s shell. As he cleaned out the pests, Hermansen snapped a picture of the happenstance collection to highlight the variety present.
Pål Hermansen/BigPicture Competition
Human/Nature Winner: Sickening Special- Bence Máte
Máte’s image was taken while taking a trip Romania’s Carpathian region. The shot includes the remains of frogs after they were hunted throughout spawning time. The frog’s legs were removed for consumption and the carcasses tossed back into the water. Máte wanted to record the visceral and heart-breaking nature of the frog leg trade.
Bence Máte/ BigPicture Competition
Image Story Doing Something About It Winner: Coexistence With Predators- Nayan Khanolkar
In Mumbai, where the image was taken, the city abuts directly with the hills of Sanjay Gandhi National Park. It is not unusual to experience a leopard in the city. Khanolkar hopes this image shows that human beings and wildlife can co-exist.
Nayan Khanolkar/BigPicture Photography Competition