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 structures
- Compound Eye- Honey bees have 2 compund 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 speed.
- 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 fight.
- 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 sychrony.
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 subtances. 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.
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