The main section of the hind pair of legs has special spines for holding pollen or propolis (a kind of gum). The centre legs are the bees’ main support, but all six legs are variously equipped with brushes, combs an spurs with which to brush pollen from the eyes, clean the antennae, wipe dust from the wings and pack pollen spines. The tongue and mandibles are used to lick and collect pollen grains from the anthers of flowers, with the result that the pollen grains are moistened with honey and stick together. The pollen is then transferred to the hind legs and held firmly until the forager enters the hive, when it is then packed in cells in the honeycomb. Worker bees have two heavy spoonshaped jaws which work sideways. The jaws are used for collecting pollen and chewing wax. The abdomen has two important organs - the wax glands and the sting. Wax glands are special cells on the under side of the last four segments of the body. Wax is discharged through these special cells in tiny scales, which are then moulded and used in comb building, capping and the cells.
10. May 2012 By Leave a Comment