DR KEITH WHEELER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR KEITH WHEELER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Honey bee tongue. Polarised light micrograph of the tongue (glossae) from a honey bee (Apis mellifera). At bottom is the spoon-like tip, the flabellum. The honey bee's 'tongue' consists of elongate and fused labial glossae, surrounded by the maxillary galeae and the labial palps. This forms the food canal for the bee's long tubular proboscis (normally coiled). During feeding this is uncoiled and dipped into a flower's nectar, which adheres to the hairs. Repeated coiling and uncoiling in a lapping motion carries the nectar into the bee's mouth. Magnification: x36 when printed at 10 centimetres tall.
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