Pollen basket on honey bee leg

Pollen basket on honey bee leg

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a pollen basket on the hind knee of a worker honey bee, Apis mellifera, filled to capacity with pollen grains of the ivy flower, Hedera helix. The pollen basket is an open basket formed of long, curved hairs (the design is obscured here by the volume of pollen). The bee uses its front claws to comb the pollen from its body after a foraging expedition into a flower; the pollen is moistened and transferred to the basket. As the bee flies on to a neighbouring flower, the pollen lodged in the basket may rub onto the stigmatic surfaces within the flower's petals, making fertilisation of the plant possible. Magnification: X 4 at 35mm size.

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Keywords: apis mellifera, bee, bees, botany, hedera helix, honey bee, insect-borne, ivy, nature, plant, plants, pollen, pollen basket, reproduction, reproductive, scanning electron micrograph, sem

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