Only two weeks remain to see Wildlife Photographer of the Year at the House of Manannan. On tour from the Natural History Museum in London, the world-renowned exhibition will close on Sunday 8 October 2023.
The most prestigious photography award of its kind, Wildlife Photographer of the Year features 100 remarkable images from around the globe and has resulted in a busy summer at the House of Manannan.
Laura McCoy, Curator for Natural History at Manx National Heritage said:
“It is an honour to host this spectacular exhibition, particularly as it carries such a powerful message about the importance of caring for our natural environment. The response from our community has been so enthusiastic – whether it be people with a passion for nature photography, or those looking for something out of the ordinary to brighten up their weekend.
We’ve welcomed approaching two thousand visitors to admire and absorb the exhibition. Now there’s only two weeks left, we anticipate many more will be coming to make sure they don’t miss out, or to enjoy it again before it goes.”
Launched in 1965, Wildlife Photographer of the Year receives entries from more than 90 different countries, highlighting its enduring appeal. This year’s award-winning images are on an international tour allowing them to be seen by millions of people all over the world, including here the Isle of Man.
Winner of the Grand Title award was ‘The big buzz’ by Karine Aigner, shot with a macro lens to show the frenzy of Texan cactus bees competing to mate. This captivating image, and all other prize winners, are among the 100 photographs on display at the House of Manannan until Sunday 8 October 2023.
Admission to the exhibition costs £3 – £5, with tickets available at the House of Manannan and www.manxnationalheritage.im.
Image caption: The Big Buzz © Karine Aigner, Wildlife Photographer of the Year
In this winning image Karine Aigner (USA) gets close to the action as a group of bees compete to mate. Using a macro lens, Karine captured the flurry of activity as a buzzing ball of cactus bees spun over the hot sand on a Texas ranch. It was May, and having emerged from their birth burrows, the male bees were ready to mate.
Once mated, a female will feed mainly on cacti pollen and nectar, then wait out the year until next spring. As soon as the prickly pear and cholla cacti start to flower again, the mated females converge on a flat sandy area and start burrowing. It was the volcano‑like turrets of their individual burrows that led Karine to discover the presence of the nesting aggregation.
Like most bees, cactus bees are threatened by habitat loss, pesticides and climate change, as well as farming practices that disrupt their nesting grounds. Most bee species nest underground so maintaining areas of natural soil that are left undisturbed is vital to their survival.
Sugandhi Gadadhar, wildlife filmmaker and judge said, ‘In today’s world, where we struggle to grab the attention of the policymakers towards even big mammals, this image helps in bringing the spotlight to one of nature’s most important creatures – bees’.
About the photographer:
Karine is an Associate Fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers and a member of the North American Nature Photography Association. Her work has been featured in National Geographic Magazine, GEOlino, Nature Conservancy Magazine, WWF and BBC Wildlife. Her imagery is represented by National Geographic Creative, Tandem Stills + Motion and Nature Picture Library.
Lynsey Clague BA (Hons) MCIPR
Communications Manager – Manx National Heritage
T: 01624 648032
Manx National Heritage, Eiraght Ashoonagh Vannin
Manx Museum, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 3LY
Isle of Man Registered Charity No 603