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Get An Up-Close, Super Slow-Motion Look At Honey Bees In Flight And At Work

A photographer was harmed (a little) in the making of this video.

Bee hives are a little terrifying. Colonies have 20,000 to 60,000 bees, all of whom beat their wings 200 times per second. It's amazing, then, that videographer-photographer Michael Sutton, was only stung three times while shooting his high-speed short, Apis Mellifera: Honey Bee.

Aiming a Canon 100mm Macro IS and Canon 30-105mm Cinema zoom lens "wide open," according to his recap on Vimeo, Sutton stood a mere one and half feet from a hive at Hillside Bees apiary as bees swarmed around him, often landing on his body (and eyes!). The result is a fascinating, up-close look at honey bees at work—and it's a lot of work for a very small payoff. Honeybees can fly up to six miles at 15 mph, but the average bee makes only 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.