pollen wild bees and native bees

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.


  • March 11, 2013

    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:


    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


    Névraumont Publishing Company
    259 East 134th Street
    Second Floor Loft
    Mott Haven, The Bronx, New York 10454-4405

    email: peter@nevraumontpublishing.com
    mobile: 917-806-0920
    land: 718-993-61902

  • I’d like to get sharper videos of my bees pollinating flowers. I sometimes get about an inch away. The camera would have to focus fast and sharp.
    Do you have any camera suggestions?

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.