A POLLEN DELIVERY SYSTEM
The honeybee is one of many insects that pollinate flowering plants. As it forages for food, it picks up pollen from one plant’s male part, the stamen, and deposits it on the female part, or pistil, of another of the same species.
Nectar from flowers is temporarily stored in a bee’s honey stomach. When she returns to the hive, it is regurgitated to feed other bees, allowing the hive to make honey as a winter food source.
A pollen basket on the rear legs provides a collection spot for pollen that is scraped from the front to the back of the bee by brushes on the legs.
The barbed stinger is a bee’s defense. It pulls out of the bee when it flies away, but the bee dies soon after.
A long hollow tongue allows the bee to deliver nectar to other bees back at the hive.
A bee has two pairs of wings and can fly up to 5 miles, farther than most other insects. In the hive, wing muscles are used to generate warmth and evaporate water from nectar to make honey.
A bee has two large compound eyes which it uses for distance vision and orientation to the sun. Above and between them, are three tiny eyes that measure intensity, wavelength, and duration of light.
A bee’s fuzzy hair generates an electrostatic charge that attracts pollen. She can carry nearly half her body weight in pollen.
The male part of the flower topped with the anther, which holds pollen.
The female parts of a flower, including the stigma, style and ovary that produces a seed when fertilized.
KEY FLOWER ANATOMY
Star Tribune graphic by Eddie Thomas and Ray Grumney