OUTLINE OF BEE
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Anatomy of Worker Honey Bee
Move the cursor over body part to learn the name and function...
- The three main parts of a honeybee are a head, thorax, and an abdomen.
- Head - contains eyes, antennae, and feeding
- Compound Eye- Honey bees have 2 compound
eyes. Each eye is made up of thousands of light-sensitive cells
which help the bee understand color, light, and directional information
from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays.
- Simple Eye - Honey bees have 3 simple
eyes that are arranged in the shape of a triangle on the head. These simple eyes called ocelli mostly help the bee determine the amount of
light present in the environment.
- Antenna- The main function of the antenna
of a honey bee is to smell. With the antenna the honey bee can detect
odors and sometimes even the direction of the odor. Another important
function of the bee's antennae is as an instrument to measure the flight
- Mandible- The mandibles are the strong
jaws of the bee. They help the bee eat pollen for food, cut and shape
wax, feed baby larvae and the queen, clean the hive, groom themselves, and
- Proboscis- The proboscis or the tongue
functions mainly in drinking or lapping of nectar, honey, and water. It
also plays a role in food exchange between the bees.
- Thorax - contains wings, legs, and muscles
involved in movement
- Forewing- A Honey bee's forewing is
typically larger than it's hindwing. It's main function is flight but it
also is used as a cooling mechanism.
- Hindwing- The hindwing's main function
is also flight and can at times be attached to the forewings by hooks
called hamuli so both pairs of wings can beat in synchrony. It is also
used to fan away heat and cool the hive.
- Legs- The main function of the bee's legs are
for movement, however bees also use their legs to manipulate and carry
pollen and propolis (a resin substance from trees). The hair on the legs
help dust off pollen and other substances. Bees also have a specialized
structure for cleaning the antennae.
- Abdomen - has seven segments and contains
female reproductive organs in the queen, male reproductive organs in the
drone, and the stinger in both workers and queen.
- Sting- The string is has two lancelets
supported by hard plates. Strong muscles which are connected to a poison
gland surround the sting. The purpose of a sting is for defense, however
once a honey bee stings, it also loses it's life. The worker leaves the
sting in the body of the victim and when pulling away ruptures the
abdomen and thus dies.