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Bug of the Week: Challenges for Honey Bees

Life can be challenging for honey bees.

For instance, take the red bird of paradise flower.

These flowers have amazing long stamens.

See the red threadlike-structures towards the left. The bumps at the ends are the anthers that produce pollen.

Collecting that pollen from such a fragile structure can be a chore.

It requires some acrobatics, even with wings.


One honey bee is using other stamens as scaffolding of sorts.

Another tries a different approach.

It's called the fly in and grab.

Grasp the anther.

And down it goes.

It would have been better as a video, but I saw a bunch of honey bees doing this.

It looked like a ride at an an amusement park. The stamen droops with the weight of the bee then springs up again when the bee lets go.

All in a day's work, I guess.

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