Nopal cacti at cochineal farm. These Opuntia cacti (also called the nopal or prickly pear cactus) are used to cultivate the cochineal bug (Dactylopius coccus) from which the natural red dye carmine is made. The cacti are grown outside and later moved inside to be infested with the cochineal bugs, small white scale insects that grow on the paddles of the cacti. The insects are crushed to obtain the dye. Photographed in 2016, at Rancho La Nopalera, San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Model release not required. Property release not required.