Honeybees under a microscope

It was pretty nice last weekend and my bees were flying around to “clear the pipes”.  In addition to that task, they also groom the hive and remove any bees that had expired.  As I watched them bring out their dead, I thought it might be cool to dissect a bee under a microscope.  I don’t have a microscope with a camera attachment though.  I am, however,  a determined and fierce cheap-skate and I have a web cam.

I gathered a few of the recently deceased bees and dissected and mounted various parts that I thought would be cool.    It took some messing around to get the focus right, but I was able to hold the webcam to the eye piece and capture some pictures.  Have a look at the shots and see if you can figure out what the parts are in each picture.  The answers are at the end.

pics from top to bottom:
-bee knee (a joint on the bee’s leg)
-bee toes (the very end of the leg)
-bee tongue (they have several)
-bee stinger (I have seen this after being in me…you can see the barbs then)
-bee wing
-girl hair (yeah, not a beepart , but a hair from Emily…she conditions!)

7 thoughts on “Honeybees under a microscope

  1. I have GOT to find me a local bee keeper to learn from, my wife who is TERRIFIED of bees is even giving great thought into raising some for garden and fruit pollination. We have MANY wasps and hornets and yellow jackets but very few bees, just some bumble bees.
    I like the big bumbles since they are so gentle and have handled many while working in the garden, moving them from one plant to another while cultivating and harvesting. But we need lots more than the very few wild bees in the area.

  2. Wow thaose are cool pics. I haven’t gone out to see what our bees are doing right now. The kids and I are going to have to break out the microscope and look at some of our bees too…thanks for the great idea! BTW…I’m off to go look at you sugary, fizzy drink! Kim

  3. I had been itching to get pics out of the scope but I knew my regular camera wouldn’t handle it. It only recently occurred to me to use a web cam. It would have been so much cooler if I could have properly dissected and mounted the parts. Anyhow, it was still pretty cool I think!

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