The honey bee is a remarkable insect in many different way. The biology of the honey bee reveals just how special it is and what makes it different to other insects. Here you can learn more about the features of the honey bee and some honey bee key facts about what makes it so special…
Six legs, four wings five eyes!
- Legs – The honey bee has three pairs of legs, six legs in total. However, the rear pair is specially designed with stiff hairs to store pollen when in flying from flower to flower. This is why a heavily laden worker bee is seen to have two golden pouches in full season. The front pair of legs has special slots to enable the bee to clean its antenna.
- Wings – The honey bee has four wings in total. The front and rear wings hook together to form one big pair of wings and unhook for easy folding when not flying.
- Eyes – Incredible as it may seem, the honey bee has FIVE eyes, two large compound eyes and three smaller ocelli eyes in the centre of its head.
Problems for Honey Bees
(as recorded by UK government)
- habitat loss
- use of pesticides
- extreme weather and climate change, and
- competition from invasive species
If these pollinating insects went into decline – amongst other serious factors – the health of our £100bn food industry which is at the heart our economy would be damaged. Without the service nature provides, some of that food would become a lot harder to grow and more expensive to buy.