Sunday, 10 April 2011

Bee Microscopia

At a recent bee keepers meeting, a bearded cove from the National Bee Unit came along and gave us a talk on the current honey bee diseases lurking out there in the wilds, and gave us some useful tips & hints on how we might go about dealing with them should they all suddenly decide to come and live at our bees’ expense. It was fascinating stuff, believe me! Then, at the end of his talk, our man wheeled out some microscopes for us to muck about with, allowing us to peer in on some samples of assorted bee parts apparently collected from already deceased bees (I mean deceased at the point it was decided they would come in handy as a microscope sample). Well it was pretty incredible seeing the bees up-close, and luckily the old camera was in fine form capturing several of the samples rather well, three of which are reproduced here for your enjoyment (click to zoom in);


Bee hind leg: “Pollen Press” used by the bee to scrape bits of pollen off itself.


Bee front leg: “Antennae Brush” a bees antennae carries various sensors (smell, temperature, air speed) and this enables brushing off any dust or dirt.


Bee wings: the serrated edge hooks the wings together and thus enables something aerodynamically very similar to the sail of a yacht.


2 comments:

Elephant's Eye said...

How utterly fascinating. So much to learn when you go down into the details.
BTW thanks for following my blog. Rather 'umble next to Hidcote.

Helen O'Donnell said...

AMAZING!

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