Bumblebee and foxglove hybrid

Bumblebee and foxglove hybrid

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Bumblebee and foxglove hybrid. Worker white-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lucorum) emerging from a flower of a foxglove hybrid. This garden hybrid is Digitalis x Mertonensis. The flowers on a foxglove spike develop at different rates, with younger flowers being male and older ones being female. Bees visit the flower spikes seeking nectar, starting with the oldest flowers and working their way to the youngest. As they do so, they carry pollen from the younger flowers to the older ones, enabling cross-pollination. This bee, leaving a young flower, has pollen adhering to the hairs on its head and thorax.

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Keywords: angiosperm, angiosperms, animal, bee, biological, biology, bombus lucorum, botanical, botany, bumblebee, close-up, countryside, cross, cross pollination, cross-pollination, detail, digitalis grandiflora, digitalis purpurea, digitalis x mertonensis, entomological, entomology, fauna, feeding, flower, flowering plants, flowers, foxglove, garden, horticultural, horticulture, hybrid, hybrid foxglove, insect, nature, nectar feeding, plant, pollen, pollinating, pollination, rural, spring, summer, white-tailed bumblebee, wildlife, worker, zoological, zoology

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