Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Honey bees fill ‘saddlebags’ with pollen. Here’s how they keep them gripped tight


By Katherine KorneiNov. 27, 2017 , 10:35 AM

Bees don’t just transport pollen between plants, they also bring balls of it back to the hive for food. These “pollen pellets,” which also include nectar and can account for 30% of a bee’s weight, hang off their hind legs like overstuffed saddlebags (pictured). Now, researchers have investigated just how securely bees carry their precious cargo. The team caught roughly 20 of the insects returning to their hives and examined their legs and pollen pellets using both high-resolution imaging and a technique similar to an x-ray. 

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