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) on 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's pollen baskets on its hind legs are filled with pollen (yellow), swept there by the bee from the rest of its body using its other legs.

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Keywords: angiosperm, angiosperms, animal, bee, biological, biology, bombus lucorum, botanical, botany, bumblebee, close-up, corbicula, 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, pollen basket, pollen baskets, pollinating, pollination, rural, spring, summer, white-tailed bumblebee, wildlife, worker, zoological, zoology

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