Day 2: Antennae

Welcome to the Twelve Days of Honey Bees: Day 2. A honey bee has two antennae.

The antennae is the primary sensory organ for a bee, providing touch, smell, hearing, and taste all in two slender stalks. Each antenna is attached to the head in a bowl-like socket, followed by three main parts called the scape, the pedicel, and the flagellum.

A detailed discussed of honey bee antennae can be found at the American Bee Journal.

The antennae is also one method of distinguishing a bee from a fly. Flies tend to have short antennae while bees have longer ones. Hover flies, especially, are often mistaken for bees. As you can see from the below image of a hover fly, the antennae are rather short.

This is a hover fly, with its stubby antennae and wings longer than its body.

By contrast, the below image of a foraging honey bee on a dandelion clearly shows her long antennae.

A honey bee on my pollinator-friendly lawn on April 2, 2022.

May you prosper and find honey.

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