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Bee Anatomy

Bees are amazingly efficient honey producing insects. All bees are made up of three distinct parts, the head, thorax and abdomen. Like most insects, the bee has a strong exoskeleton (i.e. it has its skeleton on the outside of its body).

bee anatomy

The Head

The head contains the eyes, mouth and antennae which are used for communicating. Although everyone knows that bees have a sting - did you know that they have a sophisticated tongue to taste the quality of nectar?

The Thorax

The thorax consists of three segments below the head. The first bears the first pair of legs. The second bears the second pair of legs and the first pair of wings and the final segment bears the third pair of legs and the second pair of wings. The wings move at an amazing 11,000 times per minute and can carry the bee up to 12 miles an hour. All segments are covered in hairs which are long and feathered in the worker for collection of pollen. The drone has shorter hairs and the queen has only a few.

The Abdomen

The abdomen contains the bee's digestive system, honey sack and, in the females, the reproductive organs and sting. The honey sack can hold approximately 0.25ml - so it takes a lot of flights (approximately 20,000) to create even just a single jar of honey.

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