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    Morphology of the bee

    All your questions about the morphology of the bee will find their answer here.

     

    The eyes

    The compound eyes, from 4 000 to 6 000 hexagonal facets, allow him to have a high speed of fusion of the images, thus facilitating the detection of the movements. Associated with a very broad field of vision, close to 360°, this allows him to locate himself with precision and to react quickly to possible predators.

     

    The antennas

    The two antennae, constantly in motion thanks to about fifteen joints, are the central organs of the bee’s perception of the environment. They carry between 3,000 and 30,000 sensillae of at least 7 different types: for example, the basoconic sensillae, in the form of a hair whose wall is perforated to allow odorant molecules to access the sensillary liquid. Bees are very sensitive to odors, they can locate distant nectar sources, and communicate with each other by “scent” secretions. The antennae are also used by the bee to know its physical environment, carbon dioxide content, humidity; they contribute to distinguish the tastes, and give him indications on their speed in flight.

     

    The mouth

    The mouth includes two powerful mandibles that are used to cut, pinch, plane, shape the wax scales, knead the propolis, build the cell walls… The bee has a proboscis with a sliding tongue that allows it to pump deep into the corolla of the flowers.

     

    The legs

    The six legs are also a very sophisticated working tool: the front legs, equipped with small suction cups, allow it to seize the pollen, to cling to any support, to clean its antennas. The hind legs, hairy and hollowed out like spoons, are equipped with pollen bags, where she loads and gathers her precious booty, as well as hooks that allow her to hang from each other to form a wax chain. The abdomen contains the crop, a sort of reservoir where the bee accumulates nectar, honey, honeydew, water, which it can then regurgitate as and when needed.

     

    The wings

    The two pairs of membranous wings offer a low resistance to air, allowing it to fly in all directions, forward, backward and sideways. They are powerful fans, which can also produce particular sounds serving as a means of communication.

     

    The stinger

    The bee, like the wasp, has a stinger, but it stings only once, in case of aggression or emergency, to defend its hive and its reserves: its sting tears off part of its abdomen, and it dies quickly.

     

    Highly developed senses

    > The sense of smell through its antennas with multiple functions.

    > The 360° view thanks to its 2 eyes, each one counting between 4 000 to 6 000 facets equipped with a corneal lens, a crystalline cone and an optic nerve.

    > The touch thanks to its sensory receptors arranged on all the body but more particularly with its antennas.

    > Taste thanks to its front legs sensitive to sweet solutions, its antennas, and its mouth.

    > Hearing thanks to the vibrations felt by the back legs, and thanks to the antennas.