Head of bee with orchid pollen sacs

Head of bee with orchid pollen sacs

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This image is part of the feature Pollination


Caption: Head of long-horned bee Eucera longicornis with attached Ophrys scolopax orchid pollen sacs (poll- inaria). Male bees are sexually attracted to this Ophrys flower which imitates the shape and smell of the female long-horned bee. In attempting to mate with the flower, the head of the male Eucera bee rubs against pollen bearing "pollinaria" of the flower. These yellow pollen bearing structures are released onto the bee's head. When the bee visits another orchid, it acts as a pollinator. The orchid-bee attraction occurs at a time when female Eucera bees are not yet born, and the male has no choice but to visit this Ophrys orchid.

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Keywords: bee, bees, botany, eucera longicornis, head, horned bee, long horned, mimicry, nature, ophrys, ophrys scolopax, orchid, plant, plants, pollen, pollination, reproduction, reproductive, type

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