Clay Bolt

Clay Bolt is a Montana-based conservation photographer and Manager of Pollinator Conservation for World Wildlife Fund-US. Clay’s words and images appear in publications like National Geographic MagazineThe New York Times, and National Wildlife. He is a Senior Fellow in the International League of Conservation Photographers, a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, and a past president of the North American Nature Photography Association.Clay’s current work focuses on raising concern and protections for North America’s native bees. His work was a leading voice in the fight to protect the rusty-patched bumble bee under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which in 2017 became the first ESA listed North American bee. In 2019, Bolt became the first photographer to document a living Wallace’s Giant Bee—the world’s largest bee—as a part of a four-person exploration team to rediscover the species in North Maluku, Indonesia. After the story went viral, protections were developed for the species, preventing specimens from being collected and sold illegally online.

He is currently at work on a multiyear project with publishers Zona Tropical and Cornell University Press to develop the first guide book covering all the bumble bee species found throughout the Americas. During this project Clay is traveling from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego—South America’s most southern point—photographing these imperiled insects, showcasing their beauty and importance, the communities where they live, and the many threats they face.