Wednesday wordphile: scopa

While honey bees have pollen baskets (corbiculae) in which to carry pollen back to the hive, many native bees carry pollen on the underside of the abdomen instead. The abdomens of these bees are covered with a thick tuft of elongated hairs called a scopa. Instead of packing the pollen into a ball, the pollen is spread over the entire abdominal area. The photo below shows an unidentified bee climbing into her nest. Just her backside and scopa are visible, covered with bright yellow pollen. Notice there is no pollen basket on her rear leg.

 

Scopa loaded with pollen.
Scopa loaded with pollen.

Comments

Peter N. Névraumont
Reply

March 11, 2013

Rusty
Honey Bee Suite

Dear Rusty,

In the course of researching illustrations for a forthcoming book entitled BEES: A NATURAL HISTORY, I came across one of your photographs of a mason bee on your website with the caption reading,

“A Mason Bee climbs into her nest. While honey bees have pollen baskets (corbiculae) in which to carry pollen back to the hive,,,,.”

@ this address:

http://www.honeybeesuite.com/wednesday-wordphile-scopa/

Can you grant us permission to reproduce this photograph? And, if so, provide us with a high resolution digital file of it?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

All the best,

Peter N. Névraumont
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