Bumble bee pollinating Centaurea flower

Bumble bee pollinating Centaurea flower

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Pollination. Close-up of a bumble bee (Bombus sp. ) stumbling around on the flower of Centaurea deal- bata, a garden plant. The bee's proboscis (right) which is partly unfurled, can reach deep into flowers to suck up the sugary nectar. In obtaining its meal this bumble bee has inadvertently powder- ed itself with pollen, which it may later deposit on another plant of the same species, ensuring cross-pollination. The orange lump on the bee's hind leg is a pollen basket. The compacted pollen inside it is an important source of protein that the bee will carry back to the nest.

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Keywords: bee, bee pollinating, bees, bombus sp., botany, bumble, bumble bee, centaurea dealbata, insect, knapweed, nature, plant, plants, pollen, pollen basket, pollination, reproduction, reproductive, type

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