Head of a honeybee

  • Annie Cavanagh
  • Digital Images
  • Online

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Scanning electron micrograph of the head of a honeybee showing the eyes, antennae and mouthparts. The honeybee has two large compound eyes on the side of its head made up of thousands of light sensitive cells that detect light, colour and movement. The two antennae extending out the centre of the head primarily detect smell and may also help to judge flight speed. The mouth comprises a long central hairy tongue, or proboscis, to lap up nectar and honey (not shown in this image) and a pair of mandibles that are used for grasping and cutting. The mandibles are used to break open anthers to eat pollen, cut and shape wax and are also useful for griping the enemy in combat.


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