J.C. REVY, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY J.C. REVY, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Bee sting. Light micrograph of the sting of a female honeybee, Apis mellifera. The sharp needle- like sting is seen at right; the bag-like object (at left) is the poison sac. On either side of the sting are brown chitinous plates which form part of the outer covering of the tip of the abdomen. Only the female honeybee has a sting. It is a modification of the female ovipositor, or egg- laying apparatus. The ovipositor is no longer used to lay eggs, but instead serves as a weapon of defense and as a means of paralysing the bee's enemies by injection of poison. In the process of releasing her sting the female honeybee is injured fatally and dies. Magnification: x7 at 35mm size.
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