The structure of the bee - an example of a complex organism

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As you know, bees are highly organized living beings. What is their body structure? After all, such a complex insect, producing so many valuable products, probably has a complex physiology. In this article, you will learn not only everything about how the body looks, but also how many eyes a bee and a pair of legs have.

Development cycle

The honey working bee is perhaps the basis of any insect family. They are able to collect honey weighing up to 450 kilograms per season, and therefore provide a family with food. These are female individuals, which are characterized by an underdeveloped reproductive system and cannot produce offspring. They do not mate with the drones and are exclusively engaged in hive work. But unlike the queens, some features of the organs have, for example, longer proboscis, development of the gland and baskets for leg pollen.

The length of the body of one working individual is about 12 mm, and the weight is not more than 85 mg. In order to have 1 kilogram of bees, you need to collect about 12 thousand individuals.

So, the development of a working worker depends on where the eggs were laid. If they are in the queen cells, then the uterus will hatch, if in cells, then the working individual. And the thing is all about the different amounts of feed. The development cycle of the honeybee implies the presence of three stages: egg, larva, pupa. When the embryo appears in the egg, the stage of embryonic development begins, from the larva to the adult - postembryonic.

During embryonic, when the spermatozoon enters the egg, a nucleus is formed, which then attaches to the cell when carried by the uterus. Approximately on the third day the egg bursts and the worm larva leaves. This is facilitated by the first dacha feed by bees, the nurse. The first portion is given in 2 or even 4 times the weight of the larva itself. On the sixth day of the worm's life, the nurse gives the last portion of the feed and closes the cell with a wax lid.

Now comes a very important cycle of development of the honeybee - straightening the larvae. At this point, the first bowel movement occurs, and the worm begins to spin the cocoon. About 24 hours after sealing the cell, a finished cocoon is already visible. After that, 4 hours the larva is alone and proceeds to molt. She sheds all the excess from herself and takes on the appearance, size and weight of an almost adult individual - a pupa.

The pupa already has the embryos of future pairs of wings, legs and sting. Her head is enlarged, her skin darkens, her wings grow. It is at this stage of the development cycle that bees form almost all internal organs. The last molt indicates that the larva will exit the cell. This is the birthday of the new working honey worker and the completion of its development cycle.

In the first 2-3 weeks of life, worker bees do not leave the hive and work inside the house. They clean the cell combs, warm brood, feed the larvae. Then, their duties include the construction of honeycombs, making honey, guarding the nest. Here is such a complex biology of the bee family.

The structure of an adult individual

The bee on the outside has a hard skin coating, which is referred to as a skeleton. It includes three layers: cuticle or outer, hypodermis or inner, basal membrane. The outer layer consists of chitin, which protects the bee's body from overheating and cold, as well as internal organs from shock and damage. The entire body of the insect is covered with small hairs, which also serve as the organ of touch. On the inner side of the skeleton there are muscles that provide movement of the insect.

Inside the hypodermis there are three types of cells, namely, chitin cells that secrete chitin, hypodermal glands, which form salivary, waxy and poisonous glands, and hypodermal sensory cells. The latter play the role of nerve cells and have a connection with the cuticle and hairs.

Each insect has three pairs of legs, two pairs of wings and five eyes. A pair of the largest ones is on the side of the head and three more on the head itself from above.

External structure

Outwardly, all the bees in the family are almost the same and differ only in the development of individual organs and body parts. A characteristic feature is the structure, or rather the division of the body. So, the bee consists of the abdomen, an inactive thoracic region and the head. The head of the working individual, like that of the uterus, is slightly elongated at the bottom and connects to the breast with a membrane neck. On the head there are the upper lip, upper jaws, three simple bee eyes and on the sides two faceted, a pair of antennae.

The structure of the head of the bee: 1 - the upper jaw; 2 - cheeks; 3 - antenna; 4- complex eyes; 5 - simple eyes; 6 - crown; 7 - forehead; 8 - clypeus; 9 - upper lip.

The eyes of a working bee are slightly widened than at the drone. The antennae have organs of touch and smell. In the lower part there is a proboscis on the head, which consists of the lower jaws and the lower lip. The length of the proboscis in different bees is different and can vary from 5.7 to 7.25 mm.

The middle part of the bee's torso is represented by the thoracic region, which consists mainly of the muscles that set the body and legs in motion. The chest consists of three rings and one joint. To the rings are attached one pair of legs, as well as bee wings. The wings of the insect - 4. They have a webbed structure and are able to make up to 250 strokes in one second.

The largest part of the body, both in size and weight, is abdomen. Here are the internal organs. It is connected to the thoracic region by a special stem and consists of 10 rings. Each segment of the abdomen is mobile and interconnected by membranes, which allows it to increase and decrease in volume. The entire surface of the abdomen is covered with dark hairs, and on the last segment there are wax mirrors and a sting.

The legs of a working bee are different from all other individuals in the nest in that in the third pair there are special indentations with large hairs. They are called baskets and are used to collect pollen. On the other pair there are special spurs with which the insect removes pollen balls into honeycomb cells.

Internal structure

The internal structure of a bee is completely dependent on its nutrition and activity. Since all working individuals process the nectar of flowers into honey, they have the entire internal system of organs adapted for this purpose. The basis of their nutrition is honey and pollen. The entire digestive system is associated with the activity of the glands and consists of: anterior, posterior and middle sections. The mouth, throat, esophagus, honey goiter enters into the anterior.

Proboscis (a) and tendril (b) of a working bee: 1 - a spoon; 2 - tongue; 3 - salivary canal of the uvula; 4 - lower labial palpi; 5 - prittychniki; 6 - the lower lobe of the lower jaw; 7 - maxillary palpi; 8 - stem; 9 - chin; 10 - chin; 11 - bridle. 12 - flagellum (consists of 10 segments); 13- pedicycral segment; 14 - scape.

The bee's stomach is the middle gut. Here the food is digested and absorbed by the body tissues. The walls of the intestine are muscular and folded, which ensures the promotion of food. Next is the large and small intestine, water is absorbed and digestive waste is stored. The volume of the large intestine can reach up to 45 mg, which allows the bee to keep its contents inside for a long time.

The development of microbes in the fecal masses inside the body of the bee prevents a special acidic environment, which is created during the oxidation of glucose. Also an important part of the internal structure of the insect are glands. For example, the head pectoral or salivary are involved in the digestion of food, the pharyngeal turn nectar into honey, the maxillary are created for feeding the larvae. In more detail how the internal and external structure of the bee looks you can see in the photo. Detailed diagrams fully show the body of the insect, as well as a pair of legs and wings.

Photo Gallery

Stages of development of the pupa and larva Internal system layout Outline of the body and legs Diagram of the pommel apparatus

Video "Zoology: Hymenoptera - Bees"

In this video you will see the structure of the bee, as well as hear useful information about their digestive system and processing of nectar.

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