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European Honey Bee


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A brief photographic study of the European Honey Bee (Apis Mellifera).
Includes several photomicrogrphy plates.

Published in: Education
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European Honey Bee

  1. 1. The Honey Bee
  2. 2. European Honey bee (Apis Mellifera) <ul><li>Forewing </li></ul><ul><li>Hind wing </li></ul><ul><li>Hind leg </li></ul><ul><li>Foreleg </li></ul><ul><li>Abdomen </li></ul><ul><li>Thorax </li></ul><ul><li>Head </li></ul><ul><li>Eye </li></ul><ul><li>Middle leg </li></ul><ul><li>Antenna </li></ul>
  3. 3. Wing Structure Each pair of wings (fore & hind) are uncoupled when lying on the bee’s back but as the bee draws its forewing over the hind wing a row of hooks on the hind wing attach the wings together to form one unified flight surface. The structures can be seen in this series of images.
  4. 4. Mouthparts 1 <ul><li>X-section view </li></ul><ul><li>of bee head </li></ul><ul><li>Maxilla </li></ul><ul><li>Antenna </li></ul><ul><li>Mandible </li></ul><ul><li>Glossa </li></ul><ul><li>Labial Palp </li></ul>Maxilla, Labial Palp & Glossa are together called the “Proboscis”.
  5. 5. Mouthparts 2 This selection of images show differing views of the proboscis; with the mandibles also shown top left, and a closer view of the labial palp right-hand image. The proboscis is tubular allowing the glossa (tongue) to be dipped in to nectar & then retracted up the tube.
  6. 6. Hind Leg Femur - Tibia - Pollen Press- Tarsus - Combs - Claw
  7. 7. Comb & Press Guard ‘hairs’ keep pollen in pollen press Compressed pollen is pushed between bristles on Tibia Pollen is compacted in the pollen press Comb hairs collect pollen from the bee’s body and place it in the pollen press
  8. 8. Compound Eye The honey bee has two large compound eyes. The honey bee eye is a highly developed version of the compound eye, having a specialised fovea zone that gives especially acute vision. As well as normal colour vision, the bee is also capable of seeing light in the ultra-violet region, thereby seeing different tones to those we do.
  9. 9. For Comparison Here is a Bumble Bee, in flight. Whilst distinctly different in shape, the Bumble Bee has very similar structure to that of Honey Bees; save for the fact that it has an unbarbed sting. Pollen can be seen on the bee’s hind legs.
  10. 10. Notes & Info © AnnMarie Jones 2009