Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Importance of Bees

Bees are an integral part of the world in we live in. With approximately 20,000 known species they can be found on every continent, other then Antarctica, and in any habitat where you can find flowering plants.
Bees feed on nectar, which provides energy, and pollen, which provides protein. They also bring pollen back to the hive or nest to feed their larva. They drink nectar from blooming flowers by using their proboscis. You can see in the pictures above, especially the top pic, the proboscis inserted into a flower. They are able to collect pollen because of the slight static charge that they carry due to their furry bodies. The pollen attaches to the bees body as is in contact with the bloom. The bees will then stop to pack the pollen into little saddlebag type pouches on their legs called the scopa. The scopa appears as a golden square on the back leg of the bee above.
Not all of the pollen makes it into the scopa and when the bee makes a visit to another flower some of the pollen may fall off and pollinate the plant. This pollination is important because about one third of our food supply is still pollinated by insects, mostly bees. I photographed this bee on goldenrod last summer at Necedah NWR in Wisconsin.


14 comments:

Judy said...

Incredible photos of the bees on the goldenrod! I love all the tiny details! And the mullein plant in the next post is great, too! I have been trying for a couple of years to get a good shot of that plant, so all I can say is congratulations!!!!!

awarewriter said...

Outstanding photos. You must move quickly to capture these guys.

Don't Bug Me! said...

Good focus on the bee - quite hard to do, says she speaking from experience!

Colleen said...

I got a photo of a bee this weekend, but he didn't pose nearly and nicely as your bee did. Great shots!

Vicki said...

None of my bee shots are this clear. Fantastic photos. Thanks for posting.

Jama said...

Love your macros, so awesome! Thanks to the hard working bees too, I get to eat my royal jelly and honey!

Kala said...

Terrific macros - sharp, with great color.

Hootin' Anni said...

Wow...great photography skills you have.

I played Macro Monday for the 1st time today...can you come stop by? If you have some time.

Here

tinasphotoblog said...

Great photos and I love your bees! :)

chasity said...

your photos are beautiful.
bees are such amazing creatures.

jay said...

Beautiful pictures!

Bees are so often ignored or feared, and yet they are essential to so much life! And then there's honey. MMM!

"Lillagul" said...

I have also some Bees on my Macro Monday today :)
Great macro shots !

The Early Birder said...

Super maccro shots. The world would not be the same without these guys. FAB.

Anonymous said...

This is very interesting and have you ever thought of visiting Nepal, a country which supports habitat for millions of bee combs(especially the Himalayan Bee Cliff)