VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Honey bee hatching. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a European honey bee (Apis mellifica) emerging from its wax cell. One of its large compound eyes is at centre right. Two antennae protrude from between the eyes. The mouthparts are still partly within the wax cell, only the top of the proboscis (red) is seen. It comprises a tube-like structure with a hairy glossa (tongue) with which the bee drinks liquids (nectar and water). Bees are important pollinators of flowering plants. Honey bees nest in hollow trees, where they construct sheets of hexagonal wax cells. These cells are used for rearing young and for storing honey and pollen.
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