A Closer Look at our Friend, The Honey Bee
Let’s taking a closer look at our friend the Honey Bee in an up-close and personal manner. These images have been created using a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).
This is a picture showing the head of a worker bee.
All worker bees are non-reproducible females. Only the queen bee can lay eggs and reproduce. The worker bee as the name implies, does the majority of the work in the hive. This is no small task by any means, worker bees are responsible for rearing the new baby bees after the queen lays the eggs, collecting pollen and nectar, chief engineers for hive construction, and maintaining a constant temperature of approximately 90°F throughout the hive using only their beating wings to control air flow, which are the next series of pictures.
Here you can see the honey bee’s wings. The larger one is the forewing and the smaller one in the foreground of the picture is the hindwing. Propelled by these amazing wings, bees can fly at a maximum speed of 15 mph.
A magnified view of hindwing.
Take a look at those antennae. The honey bee uses these to sense the world around them. These antennae, being segmented, have the ability to move all around to touch and feel all things of importance in the bee’s world.
These three pictures show the honey bee’s feelers and proboscis. The small feelers appear to look like the fangs of Dracula. Like the honey bee’s antennae, the feelers are used for the sense of touch. The proboscis is the honey bee’s tongue. It uses it’s proboscis to eat nectar and honey along with drinking water. Think of the proboscis as a large straw. Imagine trying to suck honey down a straw.
All the better to see you with, the honey bee’s eye is simply amazing. The honey bee, however is not interested in seeing you, unless you are trying to steal its honey, but rather in seeing flowers, nectar, and pollen. The honey bee has two compound eyes, which means that they have latterly thousands of small eyes that are looking in all directions. Think your mom has eyes in back of her head, while she doesn’t even come close to honeybee’s ability to see in several directions at once.
Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin. Look at the whiskers on this honey bee.
Ouch! Here is a close up of a honey bee’s stinger. When a honey bee is agitated, it will do anything to protect its queen and the hive, and that includes dying. When a honey bee stings something, the barbs on the end of stinger pull the stinger along with the poison gland and part of the bees abdomen off of the bee. Without these body parts, the honey bee quickly dies. Therefore, a honey bee can only sting one time compared to a wasp for instance with a smooth stinger who can sting several times and live to sting again.
Lisa Drake, NVQueenBee
Bradley Drake, NVBeeGuy