Wild Bees, Wasps and Ants

Wild Bees, Wasps and Ants

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Excerpt: ...the anthers lie in such a position that they can transfer the pollen on to it; the pea flower tribe are favourites with them, and also the Compositae. All this section have long tongues so that they are able to reach the nectaries of 67 Fig. 8. Fig. 9. plants with long tubular flowers. In visiting these the pollen is often deposited on the back of the bee; this it is able to transfer to its under side by means of the brushes on its feet or tarsi. The arrangements of the humble bees for pollen gathering are altogether different from those mentioned above. They have the hind shin outwardly shining and rather concave, with a series of long curved hairs running down each side of it and partly curving over it, so that they carry their mass of pollen in a sort of basket, scientifically called the "corbicula" (fig. 9); this would be impossible if the pollen were gathered dry, as it is by most of the solitary bees, so the bee moistens it on the flower with the nectar she has been sucking so as to make it sticky, and then transfers it into her basket by means of her foot brushes. The pollen therefore on the hind leg of a humble bee is all in one mass and can be 68 removed as such. When the bee reaches her nest this must of course save her the trouble which the solitary bee must have of cleaning off all the separate grains of pollen which are mixed up among the hairs. A word or two may be convenient here on the combs and cleaning apparatus of bees. Any one who has watched a bee clean itself will have noticed that the front legs work more or less horizontally
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Product details

  • Paperback
  • 189 x 246 x 2mm | 73g
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 1236733002
  • 9781236733009